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Kennecott offers workers alternative jobs

Keywords: Tags  Kennecott Utah Copper, Kelly Sanders, Bingham Canyon, copper, mine slide, Andrea Hotter

NEW YORK — Kennecott Utah Copper has offered alternative roles to unionized staff that would otherwise be impacted by its cost-reduction efforts.

As part of broader cost-reduction measures following a wall slide at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine in April (, April 11), workers covered by the Kennecott collective bargaining agreement have been given the option to take new jobs, in part due to the decision by about 130 retirement-eligible employees to take voluntary redundancy.

"While difficult, I’m proud of the work that our people have done to create sustainable cost reductions while reducing impacts to our employees," Kennecott president and chief executive officer Kelly Sanders said in a statement. "I recognize that employees across our organization are working hard to help the business succeed in this challenging time."

The company, a division of Rio Tinto Plc, also has significantly reduced overtime, eliminated unfilled jobs and reduced contract services while the mine is operating at reduced capacity.

Further changes to reduce operating costs will be required in the coming months as operating plans are finalized, Kennecott said.

The moves are part of a 40-day plan to tackle post-slide costs while Kennecott is working through a 120-day plan to evaluate how long it will take to clear the pit and get the operation back to full capacity.

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