Low commodity prices and the weakening oil & gas market are to blame for Williams making the decision to cut 10 percent of its workforce in North America by early April.
Alan Armstrong, Williams Cos. CEO, made the announcement during a town hall meeting with employees on Thursday, March 10, 2016.
A Williams spokesperson stated, "The company began implementing a variety of cost reduction initiatives in the first quarter of 2016. Overall, the employment reductions are expected to affect approximately 10 percent of William’s total workforce across North America. Some areas, especially those focused on supporting growth in the supply basins where we are seeing pull back in growth opportunities, will likely be more affected than others."
There are approximately 6,700 employees in the U.S. The layoffs will cut 670 employees nationwide. There are 1,000 employees at the company’s headquarters in Tulsa – 100 of those employees will be out of work by early in the second quarter of 2016.
The company stated that the reductions are in no way connected to the proposed merger with Energy Transfer Equity, a Dallas-based company.
The company will provide affected employees with severance, including extended benefits, as well as outplacement services.
Like many energy companies, Williams is adjusting to the current energy market by reducing costs in order to stabilize for the future.
A company spokesperson said, "These difficult decisions come as part of the company’s 2016 business plan, which aligns the company’s future growth with the realities of the current energy market."