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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WPS planning layoffs; impact unclear

From an article by Brian Reisinger in the Wausau Daily Herald:

Planned layoffs and furloughs at Wisconsin Public Service Corp. could impact the Wausau area, though it's unclear how at this point.

The utility's holding company, Integrys of Green Bay, plans an undetermined number of layoffs throughout the Midwest. In addition, about 600 administrators will take an unpaid week off in 2010, WPS spokesman Kerry Spees said.

The Wausau area has about 350 WPS workers, out of 5,100 total Integrys employees throughout the Midwest, said Jim Rosenberg, a community and governmental affairs representative for the utility. That makes local layoffs likely, said Rosenberg, who also serves on the Wausau City Council and Marathon County Board.

"The short answer is probably, but we don't know that yet," until the company weighs its options, he said.

Rosenberg said WPS will offer voluntary severance and that the number of people who accept it could affect the number of layoffs.

Spees said commercial demand for power is down nearly 9 percent compared with last year, and Rosenberg pointed to the recession as a contributing factor.

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