A last-minute surge in the number of unionized workers who stepped forward to accept an early retirement package at Kennecott has chased awaythe spectre of another big layoff at the Utah copper mining company.
More than 130 hourly workers accepted the buyout by the June 1 deadline. Kennecott said Tuesday its efforts to cut costs in the wake of the massive April 10 landslide at its Bingham Canyon Mine, coupled with the previously announced layoff of 100 or so salaried workers, has eliminated the need for any further cuts in its workforce at this time.
"We couldn't be more pleased," said Wayne Holland, international staff representative for the United Steelworkers of America, which represents about 1,500 of the 1,800 bargained-for employees at the Utah copper mining giant. "I know a lot of the younger workers out there are extremely grateful to those older workers who came forward and took the retirement package so they could keep their jobs."