Tidewater Barge Lines to Idle Workers
by Allan Brettman
Tidewater Barge Lines will lay off up to 200 employees for 3 1/2 months starting Dec. 10 because of a project to replace three river navigation locks.
The layoffs for the Vancouver-based company are expected to last through March 19, the projected completion for the Corps of Engineers projects, John Pigott, Tidewater assistant to the president, said Monday.
Tidewater has about 250 workers in all, so a majority face the temporary layoff.
The locks are being replaced at dams at The Dalles, John Day on the Columbia River and Lower Monumental on the lower Snake River.
The Corps' has worked with the shipping industry and others "for many years to plan" for the closures the upcoming 14-week outage, Corps project manager Margie McGill said in a news release earlier this year.
"The reality of the situation is that if we don't take these few months to make these repairs, the facilities will eventually become unsafe to use," McGill said.
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