Rio Tinto subsidiary Kennecott Utah Copper reported on May 23 the initial workforce impacts resulting from the huge landslide at its Bingham Canyon mine near Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 10 (E&MJ, May 2013, p. 4). About 100 salaried employees were initially notified that their jobs would be cut, but Kennecott said additional reductions were expected later in the month. The total number of employees that will be impacted had not yet been determined. The mine employs about 2,500 people.
Impacted employees are eligible for severance in accordance with Rio Tinto’s policy and will also receive employee assistance and access to services with its Department of Workforce Services.
Kennecott is working to reduce the impacts to its workforce by offering employee preference options, including vacation time, unpaid leave, and a one-time, $20,000 resignation incentive for retirement-eligible employees covered by the mine’s collective bargaining agreement.
The company anticipates that additional adjustments to reduce operating costs will be required in the coming months as operating plans are finalized.