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Tesoro repeats layoff warning if no buyer found for refinery

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:56 a.m. HST, May 22, 2013

Tesoro Hawaii has filed a second notice with state officials saying the company plans to lay off 165 workers in three phases starting June 14 at its Kapolei refinery if the company can’t find a buyer for facility.

Tesoro’s original plan to begin layoffs on May 1 was delayed while the company negotiated with a potential buyer or buyers that would continue refining operations at the state’s largest oil refinery.

Thomas Weber, manager of Tesoro’s Kapolei facility, said the company has not ruled out a sale of the refinery, and that the company filed the second notice with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to be compliant with a federal law regarding plant closures.

“However, various factors may still affect the timing of any employment separations,” Weber wrote in a letter to DLIR. “We will inform you of any significant changes in these plans as additional information becomes available.

“In this regard, the company continues to have discussions with potential purchasers of its Kapolei assets, including the portion of the refinery which otherwise would have been partially closed,”  Weber wrote.

"Should the company be able to sell the entire facility in this manner, it is possible that the new owner may offer employment to some or all of the employees covered by this notice, although we cannot guarantee that this will occur," Weber wrote.

The first wave of layoffs is tentatively scheduled to begin June 14 and last for two weeks. The second wave is scheduled to start June 28, and the third wave on July 12.

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