Saturday, October 31, 2020

Exxon Pays Off Shareholders, Lays Off Workers

Workers walk in the Nihran Bin Omar field north near Basra, Iraq. Photo: Nabil al-Jurani (AP)

Brian Kahn

The tragedy of Exxon continues. On Thursday, the company said it expects to lay off roughly 14,000 workers over the next year. The huge reduction comes even as it pays out shareholders, albeit at a flat level for the first time in nearly four decades.

The tumult hitting what was once the biggest, baddest oil company in the U.S. shows how the pandemic has accelerated the nascent decline of oil into a somersaulting downhill plunge. It also illustrates how the companies still standing will likely prioritize shareholders over workers until the bitter end.

The layoffs come amid a record slump in oil demand, which has sped up trends already underway before the pandemic. Exxon said in a press release there will be roughly 1,900 layoffs in the U.S., mostly at its headquarters in Houston. More layoffs are expected globally through next year, resulting in a 15% decrease in its workforce of contractors and full-time employees.  Read more >>