Job cuts at El Paso start today

el_paso_pipe_1 El Paso Corp.’s Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline under construction. (AP Photo/Jerry Cleveland)

El Paso Corp. has started to layoff workers today as part of plans to cut 6 percent of its 5,200-person workforce, or about 300 people.
El Paso spokesman Bruce Connery said he did not know how many jobs in Houston will be cut but the company has about 1,900 local employees.
The job cuts, the first for the natural gas pipeline and E&P firm since 2003, are part of a $150 million cost-cutting plan announced last week. Along with a cutting of the firm’s dividend from 5 cents to 1 cent and plans to sell up to $500 million in assets in the next year, the moves are designed to help the company improve its credit profile, raise funds to expand its natural gas pipeline business and take advantage of unconventional natural gas drilling opportunities.
Workers are being offered severance pay based on their years of service with the company as well as help in finding other jobs, Connery said.