VANCOUVER — Denver-based Stillwater Mining (TSX: SCW.U; NYSE: SWC) has been forced to make tough decisions in response to falling platinum group metals (PGM) prices, with layoffs and a sharper focus on cost control that will hopefully better position the company in the event of a recovery in prices.
In mid-August the company announced plans to reduce the workforce at its Stillwater PGM mine and Columbus processing facility in Montana by 119 employees, or 7%, following a protracted negotiation with the USW International Union Local 11-0001. Stillwater submitted what it termed a "best and final" contract offer in late July, which included no increase in base wages for the first two years of the agreement and an adjustment in incentive programs to "better align employee and shareholder outcomes."
The company's unionized workforce rejected the proposal, though employees continued to work under terms of the expired contract. The new labour agreement is slated to come into effect in early September. Stillwater employed around 1,600 people at Stillwater and Columbus to start the year, and calculates the new round of layoffs should result in savings on labour of US$20 million per year, or US$40 per oz of palladium and platinum produced.
Read the complete article at NorthernMiner.com/news/stillwater