Edison sends layoff notices to 600 non-union workers from San Onofre plant

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Southern California Edison announced Wednesday that it had issued layoff notices to 600 non-union employees at the San Onofre nuclear plant.

The layoffs are part of a plan to reduce the staff from 1,500 to 400 by next year and permanently decommission the 2,200-megawatt nuclear generating station.

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“The premature shutdown of San Onofre is very unfortunate,” said Pete Dietrich, SCE’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, in a company statement. “We have an extraordinary team of men and women. We appreciate their years of dedicated service and will continue to extend to them the utmost respect and consideration.”

The electric utility, one of the largest investor-owned in the nation, sent out the workforce reduction notices on Monday. The layoffs take effect in about two months, the company noted.

For the transition of union employees affected by the shutdown, SCE said it planned to negotiate with the Utility Workers Union of America and the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers.

SCE also noted that it planned to hold a job fair for displaced workers.

The beleaguered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, has been idle since January 2012, when a small leak was discovered

The independent consumer advocate for the California Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory body for SCE and other electric companies in the state, said earlier this week that customers should no longer have to shoulder any costs associated with the maintenance of SONGS, since it isn't contributing to the power grid.

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