Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Layoff at Kerr-McGee to Trim 160 Workers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Layoff at Kerr-McGee to Trim 160 Workers

Article excerpt

The layoff of about 160 of its 6,000 employees throughout its worldwide operations was announced Tuesday by Kerr-McGee Corp. from its headquarters in Oklahoma City. The layoff was effective Tuesday.

Those layoffs include 43 office and supervisory level employees primarily from the company's Oklahoma City corporate operations, said Dow Dozier, director of corporate public relations for Kerr-McGee. Kerr-McGee has 1,800 employees at its headquarters.

"All of those 160 are salaried employees above entry level positions," Dozier said.

"This has been an ongoing thing. About a year ago, we had a forced reduction of about 350, mostly voluntary cuts, and we have been continuing in that cost-cutting mode since that time. This is just another phase of our cost-cutting efforts," he said.

Dozier said he had no figures available on the amount of corporate savings that would result from the layoffs.

"Last year it was a voluntary program that included early retirement and then other people could leave early with enhancements, but this one is different, in that these are basically involuntary." "They do get the same benefits package as the people who took out last year. Also, the ones that were involuntary got a package that includes extra insurance _ they can keep their health coverage for a specified period of time, enhanced retirement benefits if they are eligible for retirement, out-placement and educational assistance, and then a severance pay based on their years of service.

"It is a pretty good benefits package. It is not the same as having a job, of course, but we try to be as helpful as possible," Dozier said.

The cuts by Kerr-McGee were the latest in a series of cutback by the oil industry in Oklahoma and nationwide.

Mobil Oil Corp. said Monday it would close exploration and production offices in Oklahoma City and Denver. Each office employs about 150 people.

Last month, Phillips Petroleum Co. announced it would lay off nearly 1,000 people at its corporate headquarters in Bartlesville.

Petroleum industry employment declined 1 percent from 1.57 million in 1990 to 1.55 million in 1991, according to the American Petroleum Institute. From 1981 to 1991, petroleum industry employment declined 17. …

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