Williams Lays Off 10% of Workers in North America

As the oil glut weathers on, energy companies continue to make difficult decisions regarding their workforces.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Cos. has begun laying off workers as part of its 2016 business plan, announced January 25. The business plan aligns the company’s future growth with the realities of the current market. The company is laying off approximately 10 percent of its total workforce across North America, Williams spokesperson Tom Droege stated in an email to Rigzone. Prior to the layoffs, the company employed 6,700 workers.

Droege said the company began implementing cost reduction initiatives in 1Q 2016, which include postponing salary increases, significantly reducing or eliminating hiring in some areas of the company, reducing the number of contractors and reducing the use of outside services.

“Some areas, especially those focused on supporting growth in the supply basins where we are seeing pull back in producer activities, will likely be more affected than others,” Droege said.

Layoffs will be completed this week and Williams will provide severance, including benefits and outplacement services to affected employees.

In September, pipeline giant Energy Transfer Equity announced it would buy Williams Cos. In a recent filing, Energy Transfer stated it plans to consolidate corporate offices in Dallas, which would reduce Williams’ presence in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Bloomberg reported.

However, Droege stated that Williams’ recent workforce reductions are “focused solely on sustaining Williams’ future growth and not related to the proposed merger with Energy Equity Transfer.”        


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