Layoffs add up to a sober week for Hanford workers

Oct 3, 2011

More than 1,000 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are getting layoff notices. This latest round of downsizing started this week due to reduced federal funding in 2012.

The layoffs include a wide range of job skills including health technicians, engineers, laborers and managers. Some people are union members so they could bump other people out jobs according to seniority. This bumping is rolling through multiple Hanford contractors who share a union.

Jerry Holloway is a spokesman for Washington River Protection Solutions. That's one of the companies shedding about 250 workers this week.

"Anytime you have to say goodbye to your co-workers it's a difficult time," Holloway says. "It’s a very sober atmosphere around here today.”

Some of the ongoing work like pumping radioactive waste out of aging underground tanks has been temporarily put on hold to give the remaining workers a few days to adjust.

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