OKLAHOMA CITY -- The normally peaceful campus of Chesapeake Energy has been disturbed by swirling rumors of layoffs. Tuesday the company finally confirmed it was restructuring in an email sent to employees.
Though the company won't confirm how many people will be let go, sources tell NewsChannel 4, the number could reach 2,000 before its all said and done.
"Some of them may have a better opportunity than they think they do," said Robert Funk, CEO and Chairman of Express Employment Professionals, one of the top staffing companies in the state. He said layoffs are part of the business cycle. "It affects your economy to a degree but probably not to a large degree in our case because the demand has been there for those skilled individuals. I think they will find other opportunities quiet rapidly."
The employees who already received parting papers and those still working there can't officially comment because we're told it could affect their severance package. But anonymous comments were made on thelayoff.com under the Chesapeake heading. Posters claim to be employees who stated things like this:
"Unknown still here....86 people doing nothing waiting for something to happen"
Another read, "The waiting game, 2 layoffs a day BS needs to end. They just need to fricking do it already and let everyone move on with their lives."
Combating those responses--someone who wrote: "You guys are all wrong, you live the core values. We tell you to live the core values, now shut up and get back to work."
"When you hear unemployment at a great organization like Chesapeake laying off a lot of employees, people want to panic and they immediately think, the sky is falling. It's really not," said Sharron Jackson-Glover, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce says there is a silver lining. "This now increases the pool for the other employers. I know its a challenge for those guys going through it but I would immediately start looking at other opportunities." She said other local companies in the same energy are likely those laid off. "We've gotten reports about Devon who at one point was looking to hire 600 people, so the jobs for these people are there."
Chesapeake released this statement:
“Chesapeake is transitioning key leadership positions and making adjustments to its organization to properly align resources, reduce expenses, and improve its operating and competitive performance. The company’s focus remains on financial discipline and profitable and efficient growth from captured resources. We look forward to realizing Chesapeake’s full potential for our shareholders and employees.”