Stillwater Mining Co. has updated its previously announced reorganization plans and will reduce its workforce by 119 employees, primarily at the Stillwater mine and Columbus processing facilities. The decision was made as a result of the deteriorating market environment for platinum group metals, the company said. In addition, the company has modified its mine plan to focus on the most profitable mining areas within the Stillwater mine and will continue efforts to maximize production from the East Boulder mine. Stillwater said it would continue to closely monitor market conditions and may make other adjustments as necessary.
The labor contract with employees represented by the USW International Union at the Stillwater mine and Columbus processing facilities expired on June 12. Subsequently, employees at these sites voted twice, and rejected, a tentative labor agreement reached on May 27 that was recommended by the USW International Union. Following the votes, employees have continued to work under the terms of the previously expired contract. On July 30, the company notified the union that negotiations had reached an impasse and that it would implement its last, best and final contract offer, which is the same agreement previously rejected by the represented employees.
The main points of the contract include: no increase in base wages for each of the first two years of the agreement; simplification of the incentive program; and the introduction of metrics that the company believes better align employee and shareholder outcomes. Stillwater said it would implement the new agreement on September 1.