850 HAMTC jobs included as part of Hanford layoffs

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldAugust 2, 2011 

The Hanford Atomic Trades Council is facing a loss of about 850 jobs in two months, Dave Molnaa, HAMTC president, said Monday.

Those include jobs that are part of the layoffs planned by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. and its subcontractors, plus additional Hanford jobs.

"We have not seen a layoff of this magnitude since the mid-90s," Molnaa said. HAMTC is a labor organization representing 15 unions working at Hanford.

As CH2M Hill and its 11 preselected subcontractors notified workers of layoffs Thursday through Monday, it also issued a notice to state and other officials in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN Act.

The notices said the CH2M Hill and its 11 preselected subcontractors would be laying off 1,224 employees Sept. 29. The total includes up to 586 CH2M Hill employees represented by HAMTC and up to 164 other CH2M Hill employees.

Among the layoffs at its preselected subcontractors, up to 73 would be union employees and up to 401 would be nonunion employees.

Molnaa said that up to about 640 of the central plateau layoffs would be HAMTC jobs.

In addition, HAMTC has been notified that Mission Support Alliance will be cutting 197 HAMTC employees and Advanced Technologies and Laboratories plans to cut 12 HAMTC positions Sept. 29, Molnaa said. Some workers have volunteered for layoffs.

On Monday, CH2M Hill sent a "declaration of excess" to HAMTC for CH2M Hill and subcontractor Materials and Energy Corp. It listed job cuts by category, including 265 nuclear chemical operators, 164 radiological control technicians, 44 insulators, 43 decontamination and demolition workers, 22 electricians and 22 plumber steamfitters.

HAMTC workers will be laid off in a "bump and roll" system based on seniority, regardless of contractor.

That means that the CH2M Hill layoffs could affect workers not only on CH2M Hill projects, but also those working for Washington Closure Hanford, Washington River Protection Solutions, Mission Support Alliance, Parsons and Advanced Technologies and Laboratories.

Employees will receive layoff notices or bumping notifications Sept. 19, according to the declaration of excess. Employees who are bumped to new jobs will start those jobs Oct. 3, it said.

CH2M Hill earlier announced that it would be cutting up to 1,200 jobs under the central plateau contract at the end of September as most of the $1.3 million in federal economic stimulus money it received is spent. The money was used both to save jobs scheduled for layoffs and hire more people.

An additional 148 jobs were cut through voluntary layoffs of nonunion workers and the remainder of nonunion job cuts were done through a rating and ranking process, CH2M Hill said earlier.

Mission Support Alliance cut 125 jobs in March and has permission to cut up to 300 more jobs by the end of September, including the HAMTC jobs. Its layoffs do not fall under the WARN Act, which requires 60 days notice to employees losing their jobs.

HAMTC has been working with contractors, WorkSource and the Workforce Development Council Tri-Cities to find job openings, Molnaa said.

It also is concerned that training continues without interruption at Hanford and that safe working conditions be paramount for the reduced work force.

A job fair is planned by CH2M Hill to help displaced workers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at TRAC in Pasco. For information, call Anne Raffetto at 373-0290.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com

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