Philadelphia Energy Solutions gave notice Wednesday it is delaying the layoffs planned for July 12 by six weeks.

In a letter dated Wednesday, William A. Goodhart, PES senior vice president, HR, wrote that the aforementioned layoffs would be delayed.

"This supplemental notice is being sent today to advise that PES is going to extend employment, and the layoff ... will be on Aug. 25, 2019, or a date within (14) days thereafter," Goodhart wrote.

"The reason for this extension," he explained, "is that PES is continuing its efforts to secure the facility in anticipation of potentially rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and preparing for a possible sale and restart."

On June 21, the 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery experienced an enormous fire that eradicated one of the facility's 30 units. Five days later, company officials announced they were shutting down the entire refinery and laying off its employees by July 12.

In negotiations with the company, federal investigators from multiple agencies have not yet been able to access the site to begin their evaluation as to what caused the fire.

Officials from the United Steelworkers Union Local 10-1 said about 700 of their members work at the site in addition to another 500 salaried personnel and 800 members of the Building Trades unions.

Referring to studies generated by state and private analysts, union officials estimate the local economy could face up to a $10 billion impact with up to 36,000 other indirect workers experiencing a full or partial effect.

On Tuesday, federal, state and local elected officials packed the United Steelworkers hall to express their support for the workers and to talk about the next steps to take to find a new owner for the facility.

In his letter, Goodhart wrote that the layoffs on Aug. 25 are expected to be permanent.

However, he added, "PES will continue to pursue opportunities to restart the Philadelphia Refinery Complex."

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