Chevron gives notice to workers as it prepares to cut 950 jobs

Some local Chevron employees are finding out whether they will lose their jobs as the company pushes forward on plans to cut 950 positions in Houston amid falling oil prices.

The job cuts are part of a broader plan by the San Ramon, California-based energy giant to eliminate about 1,500 jobs worldwide as Chevron braces for a prolonged crude slump. The announcement came just days before the company revealed in an earnings call with investors that second quarter profits plummeted 90 percent as the downturn in oil outweighed the boosts in refining.

“In light of the current market environment, Chevron is taking action to reduce internal costs in multiple operating units and the corporate center,” the company said in a statement. “These initiatives, which are currently underway, are focused on increasing efficiency, reducing costs and focusing on work that directly supports business priorities.”

The layoffs announced in recent weeks by Chevron and other major oil companies signal a shift in oil industry job losses as the pain extends from blue collar workers assigned to work the rigs to white collar workers with office jobs in downtown Houston’s high-rises.

“There’s a saying that the closer you are to the drill-bit, the more your job is at risk,” said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership. “But we are probably done with the bulk of the layoffs in manufacturing and oil field services. We’ve cut so much, there’s not much more for companies to cut to still be viable.”

With oil prices showing no signs of rebounding soon, the flurry of layoffs that struck workers in the oil patch are now trickling up to corporate offices, a trend that could have a more significant effect on energy workers in Houston, Jankowski said.

“We haven’t felt the full impact yet,” he said.

Chevron workers will be given two months advance notice that their positions have been cut, the company said. The first employees will leave in October, Chevron told the Texas Workforce Commission in a letter last week. The company expects to finish issuing pink slips before the end of the year, spokesman Cam Van Ast said in an email to Fuel Fix.

Of the 1,500 permanent positions on the chopping block, about 270 are vacant.

Although the company has not disclosed which job titles or classifications it plans to shed in Houston, Chevron told state regulators that it will target positions assigned to its four corporate centers in downtown. The cuts represent about 12 percent of the company’s 8,000 Houston-area workforce.

Read Chevron’s letter to the Texas Workforce Commission below.

Gulf W Chevron (Multiple Locations) 08 12 15 (Text)