Washington River Protection Solutions OKs 82 voluntary layoffs

By the Tri-City HeraldDecember 16, 2013 

Washington River Protection Solutions has approved 82 voluntary layoffs, it told employees Monday.

The Hanford tank farm contractor has been approved by the Department of Energy to lay off up to 250 workers in the current fiscal year.

The voluntary layoffs at Washington River Protection solutions include 44 nonunion employees and 38 union workers.

It's one of three Department of Energy Hanford contractors that announced Nov. 21 that they planned layoffs because of the uncertain Hanford budget for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.

Mission Support Alliance and CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. on Monday did not have a total of voluntary layoffs approved.

After approving voluntary layoffs, the contractors were expected to look at whether involuntary layoffs also would be needed by the end of January.

However, since layoff plans were announced in November, the federal budget picture has changed.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan reached a compromise budget agreement, and the Republican-controlled House approved it. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to consider it this week.

That would allow a possible budget bill to be introduced for DOE for the current fiscal year.

The Obama administration has proposed a budget for the Hanford tank farms managed by Washington River Protection Solutions of $520 million. The current tank farm spending for the year is set at $409 million under a continuing resolution.

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