Major U.S. refiner Sunoco said Friday it is cutting a fifth of its workforce, or 750 jobs, in the first round of what it likes to call its business-improvement initiative.
The majority of the layoffs are in the Greater Philadelphia area, said Sun spokesman Thomas Golembeski.
The move is part of a “business improvement initiative” launched in October, he said.
“It is a strategic response to the downturn in refining indusyry,” he said. “We are trying to make sure we stay competitive during what we think is a coming downturn in the refining business over the next several years.”
It is never easy to take steps that impact the lives of employees and their families, said Chairman Lynn Elsenhans.
“While the company has enjoyed several years of strong financial performance, we are now facing a different — and more difficult — economic reality. Like many other companies across a variety of industries, Sunoco is taking steps to remain competitive,” she said.
The Philadelphia-based energy company said that it expects to save $300 million in 2009 due to the initiative. It will take a charge of $30 million to $45 million in the first quarter related to the cuts.