ConocoPhillips Begins Layoffs

Wednesday, March 4th 2009, 4:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, OK -- Several people in Bartlesville and Ponca City are looking for new jobs.  ConocoPhillips has begun company-wide lay-offs.  The company will lay off 4%- 5% of their Bartlesville and Ponca City workforce by the end of March.

At Bangs Salon in Bartlesville news of ConocoPhillips' layoffs leaves customers like Jack Puckett worried about several friends who work for the company.  He says it's sad that the recession has finally hit home.

"It's obviously devastating to the local economy. But, it seems to be somewhat par with what's going on in the rest of the world economy," said Jack Puckett of Bartlesville.

At the company's Bartlesville campus, somewhere between 120 and 150 people will be let go.  But, Puckett says the layoffs will reach outside this corporation's buildings.

"You know, it's not just ConocoPhillips it's affected. It's the small businesses that support ConocoPhillips," said Jack Puckett of Bartlesville.

"As far as the future of ConocoPhillips here in Bartlesville, we still see a very successful future for us here," said Tracy Harlow with ConocoPhillips.

Company spokesperson, Tracy Harlow, says ConocoPhillips is taking a hit, like countless other companies in the global economy.  But, job cuts now will hopefully mean growth in the future.

"It's showing our employees, it's showing our investors, that we're taking some responsible steps.  Um do we want to ever have to make layoffs? Of course not. But, we were very thoughtful in our considerations about what positions we actually took a look at," said Tracy Harlow with ConocoPhillips.

Only a fraction of the employees who are going to be laid off have actually been notified so far. And, Harlow says that has definitely left a feeling of unrest in the offices at ConocoPhillips. But, they hope that will change by the end of this month.

"I don't think that you ever, while you may anticipate or wonder, I don't think you're ever fully prepared for receiving notification of a layoff. So it obviously is a difficult time for our employees," said Tracy Harlow with ConocoPhillips.

ConocoPhillips recently announced they'd be transferring several of their non-refinery positions from Ponca City to Bartlesville.  They say those employees are still scheduled to make the move, but there is a possibility some of them could be laid off as well.

All the employees affected will receive a comprehensive severance package.