In response to the closure and phase-out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Fluor Idaho, a subsidiary of Irving, Texas-based multinational engineering and construction firm Fluor, is restructuring its operations. The company is soliciting voluntary layoffs in order to reduce the headcount by 190 employees in the fiscal year 2019. If voluntary separations are inadequate to achieve Fluor’s target, there will be forced layoffs. The reduction in force should come as no surprise to the employees or the community as the company made its intentions known when the DOE announced the closure.
The company and the community fought to keep the facility open but a Department of Energy feasibility study of extending the AMWTP mission to treat waste from other DOE sites concluded it would not be cost-effective. A DOE spokesperson noted, “Therefore, upon completion of the mission, DOE will initiate closure activities in accordance with regulatory permits and the existing Fluor Idaho contract.”
Because many workers belong to craft unions, it is difficult to simply transition them to other positions controlled by different unions and contracts.
Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?