Vestas announces a 1,400 round of job cuts
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Vestas announced job cuts of 1,400 to come before the end of the year, bringing its global workforce to 19,000.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S officials said Thursday the company would cut 1,400 jobs, on top of 2,300 in layoffs announced earlier this year.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the move would bring the Denmark-based company's total workforce to about 19,000 by year-end, down from an earlier estimate of 20,400. It's unclear how the cuts will affect Vestas' North American headquarters in Portland.
"Decisions regarding the exact number of jobs that could potentially be affected in the U.S. and where they are located remain undecided," said Andrew Longeteig, a Portland-based Vestas spokesman, in a prepared statement. "However, we will continue to scale our business up or down depending on business needs and market demands. We are committed to the North American market, but we also need to be flexible to adapt to changing market demands."
Bloomberg Businessweek reported Thursday that 30 workers were laid off at a Vestas factory in Brighton, Colo., a quick follow to the firing of about 90 workers in Pueblo, Colo. last week.
It's important to note that the 1,400-job cut is related to a global slowdown in the renewable energy industry attributed to a broad economic slowdown and related government spending cuts.
The layoffs are independent of the ongoing saga of the Production Tax Credit in the U.S., which has lawmakers in Washington at loggerheads over whether or not to grant an extension of the credit, which provides a financial incentive for installing wind farms. The credit is scheduled to expire at the end of the year and a bill to extend it — one of several attempts made over the course of the year — has yet to come to a vote.
If the tax credit expires, it will no doubt trigger even more layoffs in Vestas' U.S. operations.
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