Potash Corp cuts production
By Saskatoon Star Phoenix
March 17, 2009 – Temporary layoff notices went out to 940 employees of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan at three of its plants. The move comes as a result of cutbacks in production as well as the need to work through its current inventory.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. has issued 940 temporary layoff notices to employees at its Lanigan, Allan and Rocanville operations, the result of a new cutback in potash production.
PotashCorp spokesperson Bill Johnson said Monday the company will reduce its potash production this year by an additional 1.5 million tonnes, bringing total cutbacks to 3.5 million tonnes for 2009. The reductions mean there will be less work for employees, leading to temporary layoffs starting in April at all three sites.
"You don't take an additional 1.5 million tonnes out of the system without it impacting your staffing levels. We gave out layoff notices (Monday), short-term, temporary layoff notices at our Rocanville, Allan and Lanigan facilities," Johnson said in an interview.
This is the second round of temporary layoffs for the company this year. After PotashCorp announced plans in December 2008 to reduce production by two million tonnes in 2009, it sent 940 temporary layoff notices to workers at the same three operations. The first round of temporary layoffs ran from Jan. 18 to March 15. This second round will run for four weeks, beginning April 5 at Rocanville, and eight weeks, beginning April 19 at Lanigan and Allan.
Johnson said inventory adjustments and temporary layoffs affect all of the company's operations.
"All of our facilities have been affected by the original curtailment notices. We've had eight-week inventory adjustments at all of our facilities and this is a second-round of inventory adjustments at these three facilities," he said.
Not all of the employees who received layoff notices will be off work, Johnson said. Some employees will be recalled to work on other projects, while others will be needed to maintain the facilities.
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