Westinghouse Plans 7 Percent Workforce Trim, Reacts To South Carolina Project Cessation

Westinghouse Electric Company Chief Executive Officer Jose Emeterio Gutiérrez.said the company was “extremely disappointed” at the decision by Santee Cooper and the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company to back away from its commitments to the V.C. Summer power plant expansion project, which was to deploy two AP1000 reactors designed by Westinghouse.

WestinghouseWhile we respect Santee Cooper’s decision, we are extremely disappointed,” said José Emeterio Gutierrez, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer. “The South Carolina economy is sure to feel the negative impact of losing over five thousand high-paying, long-term jobs, as well as not having available the reliable, clean, safe and affordable energy these units would provide. Also, at a time when other nuclear plants are being retired, the U.S. energy sector is sure to feel the stunting impact of walking away from these two nuclear units.”

Westinghouse released the statements on Tuesday while announcing that the company had reached a bankruptcy milestone by submitting its five year business plan to the company's debtor-in-possession financing lenders and unsecured creditors committee on July 27.  In its five year plan, the company said it would reduce its global workforce by 7 percent as part of its restructuring efforts.

Various news sources, including Reuters, reported in July that Westinghouse would likely be sold to a U.S.-based company by the end of 2018.

Our five-year plan provides Westinghouse stakeholders, including our employees, customers and future investors, insight into how we will achieve conservative, sustainable growth over the term,” Gutiérrez said. “We have already begun to align our operations to the plan and look forward to moving through the Chapter 11 proceedings in a swift manner.” Current reports indicate that Westinghouse will remain under Chapter 11 protections through March 2018.

The financial plan “integrates Westinghouse’s strategic initiatives, competitive landscape and market dynamics into a five-year financial forecast. Comprised of strategic transformation initiatives resulting in savings of $205 million in run rate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) over the five-year term, the plan supports the successful operation of the company’s core businesses as well as the company’s New Projects Business. One component of these savings will be adjustment of the company’s global headcount; for fiscal year 2017 this will be approximately seven percent,” the company said.

The nuclear power industry and the global business community are interested in the fate of various Westinghouse projects beyond the V.C. Summer expansion project, which was to culminate in the commissioning of two new reactors. Westinghouse has also been in discussions with India over a possible deal involving six Westinghouse model reactors. The company has said discussions continue despite the bankruptcy filing.

Meanwhile, the many benefits of the AP1000 plant design, including its passive safety features and strong licensing pedigree, continue to be recognized worldwide,” the company said. “ Work continues on two AP1000 units at Georgia Power’s Vogtle site, under a long-term services agreement, and the world’s first four AP1000 units are nearing successful completion at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China.”

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    What about the foreseen earnings coming from VC Summer plant consultancy??

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Westinghouse has no one to blame but themselves, because of their poor management on the VC Summer Project, thousands have lost their jobs.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - Westinghouse poor decision to buy Shaw/CBI started this mess. Then it appears that Westinghouse did not verify their constructors  progress and took their work over.  Fluor who hasn't built a nuclear plant in 20 years came in with a T&M contract to oversee the work.  No one was watching them either. Shame on all of you, and Mr. Gutiérrez, you owe an apology to the people of SC, your workforce and to the industry.  Its interesting that the previous Westinghouse President and CEO is not mentioned in any articles -  Someone at Westinghouse should be put under the microscope to understand what happened, instead of pointing the blame at SCANA. You were the prime contractor act like it and take responsibility - or we will take our business else ware.  

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    WEC overpaid and useless top management should be extremelly disappoined with themselves. Corporate greed.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I was a contractor for circle W for 23 years.  Every 3-5 years they would do something boneheaded and get themselves into a mess.  This is nothing new.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Sorry, but this isn't something that was done by any one single person.  In fact, you may want to point your comments to the previous CEO, Mr. Roderick, and his hired management team  "Shame on all of you, and Mr. Gutiérrez, you owe an apology to the people of SC, your workforce and to the industry."  Westinghouse has always hired based who you know instead of what you know.  Big mistake - your nepotism, poor management and lack of qualified management has landed you here.  What you reap is what you sow.  Good luck to all the good people at Westinghouse!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Management asleep at the helm, like the Exxon Valdez... now rhe workers suffer. Pos

  • Not only did Westinghouse cancel their pension, but also the severance policy is no longer enforceable because it contains a Chapter 11 clause that makes it worthless.  This information has not been openly shared with employees and in fact the severance policy was discussed this week at an all-employee meeting and it still was not shared.  Now you can get let go with absolutely no severance.  I was a dedicated employee but that is the final straw for me.  I will be seeking out a new company that has management that is open and cares about their employees.