Top 10: PotashCorp reduces work force by 85

Published 8:06 pm Friday, December 27, 2013

The Washington Daily News’ sixth top story of the year came late in the year. PotashCorp-Aurora announced that 85 of its employees would be terminated, a 10-percent reduction in its workforce, earlier this month.

“Today is a difficult day for our employees, their families and for our company,” said Steve Beckel, PotashCorp-Aurora’s general manager on Dec. 5. “These decisions are not made lightly, but in a challenging environment we must take steps to protect the sustainability of our operations, and we believe these changes help position PotashCorp Aurora to be globally competitive for the long term.”

The company looked at operations worldwide, trimming the workforce where it was necessary. The cuts affected all three business segments — potash, phosphate and nitrogen.

PotashCorp. Aurora is one of Beaufort County’s largest employees, even after the job cuts.

Immediately following the cuts, NCWorks brought in a rapid-response team to assist the terminated employees in filing for unemployment benefits, seeking employment training and identifying open positions in the region.

NC Works, Beaufort County Community College and the Beaufort County Career Center (formerly JobLink) were part of the team.

“We are focused on ensuring this process is respectful of our employees and their families,” Beckel said at the time. “We will work to help those affected through this challenging time. Our Aurora operation remains important to PotashCorp’s long-term plans and we remain committed to this community as well as to the state of North Carolina.”