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Report Dominion cuts 18 in Lewis Co.

by Shawn Gainer

STAFF WRITER

An area newspaper reported Wednesday that 18 positions will be eliminated by the end of April at the Dominion Exploration and Production Inc. facility at Lewis County Industrial Park. No source was identified in the report.

Bob Fulton, a spokesman for Dominion Transmission in Clarksburg, confirmed that positions at the Lewis County facility would be affected by voluntary and involuntary severance and early retirement programs, adding that those programs may apply to non-union employees throughout the corporation. However, Fulton did not comment on the number of positions stated in the report by The Weston Democrat.

Fulton reiterated Dominion's policy of not releasing numbers of job reductions at specific facilities. In a prepared statement released April 20, Dominion officials said they "cannot specify the exact number of jobs being eliminated in each of the five states where the company has significant operations because the process of notifications and reductions is ongoing."

Hunter Applewhite, a spokesman at Dominion headquarters in Richmond, Va., also said the company would not release details of eliminations.

"We don't break those numbers down," Applewhite said Tuesday.

Charlie Rittenhouse, president of United Gas Workers Local 69-2 of the Service Employees International Union, said Wednesday the employees at the Lewis County facility are non-union and their positions could be eliminated without contract negotiations.

In the April 20 statement, Dominion officials said they expect to eliminate 700 positions this year through voluntary and involuntary severances and early retirement. The job reductions are expected to save at least $75 million.

Staff writer Shawn Gainer can be reached at 626-1442.

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