Oct 10 Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc
has begun laying off nonunion workers at its
Philadelphia refinery after the company fell short of a goal of
trimming its workforce through voluntary buyouts, according to
two sources familiar with the plant's operations.
PES Chief Executive Officer Phil Rinaldi told employees at
the 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery last month that the company
was cutting benefits and reducing staff due to weak gasoline
margins and high costs for renewable fuel credits, Reuters
The company had hoped that up to 100 non-union workers would
take voluntary buyouts, but only 50 to 60 people took the deal,
according to one source.
"They fell short, and they are tapping people on the
shoulder now to lay off," said a second source Monday.
Company officials did not immediately respond to requests
The company had 441 nonunion employees in 2014, according to
the most recent company filing with the U.S. Securities and
The belt-tightening, which includes a freeze on capital
projects, comes as independent refiners feel the pinch of the
high cost of meeting the government's renewable fuel standards.
The company is on track to spend $250 million this year
buying required renewable fuel credits, nearly double the
company's base payroll, Rinaldi said his September letter.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions also cited weak gasoline
margins 1RBc1-CLc1 during the busy summer driving season.
During the summer of 2016, gasoline margins were at six-year
The country's largest independent refiners are on pace to
record their lowest profits since the shale boom began in 2011
thanks in part to high inventories that crushed margins.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw in New York; Editing by Jeffrey