Community members discuss how the layoffs aren’t only a hit to the workers, but are a hit to the community.
By Renata Di Gregorio |
Posted: Wed 5:54 PM, Sep 28, 2016
JANE LEW, W.Va. (WDTV)- In Jane Lew dozens of workers at U.S. Well Services went to work Wednesday only to find they’ve been laid off. Layoffs in the oil and natural gas industry aren’t as unexpected now as they once were, but that doesn’t make them any less devastating to families or communities.
The company’s Human Resources Director doesn’t want to comment on the number of workers laid off, but multiple workers tell 5 News they believe it to be around 60 people. In a statement, U.S. Well Services says they have regrets about the situation and its affects.
The statement reads: “U.S. Well Services operations based in Jane Lew did not win the work we thought we were going to and as a result we have had to reduce our workforce. U.S. Well Services regrets having to take these actions and the impact on our employees.”
That impact is what one woman in Jane Lew has been dealing with for months. Her husband was laid off in the industry from a different company in June after working in the oil fields for almost 15 years. Now her family of seven depends on her and her daughter to make ends meet.
“It has not been good at all. I mean I’m the only one working and it’s really hard,” she said. “I mean the oil field’s just not fair. It’s not fair to the families, it’s not fair to the people that work there. It’s just not fair at all.”
She says there just isn’t work that supports the same livelihood. Another woman who sees workers from U.S. Well Services every day says they’re family and the industry layoffs affect not only them, but the community.
“A lot of them I know, you know I’ve worked in the community for 15 years and lived in this area,” said Donna Bonnett. “They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends they’re our family. You think what their families are gonna do, how they’re gonna live, how they’re gonna pay bills. You know it affects our business, but if affects families. It’s across the board it’s kind of scary.”
Not many people 5 News spoke with are optimistic about the industry’s future, but the county’s Economic Development Authority director is hopeful the industry will rebound in the Spring.
Hear more personal stories in the interview above.