ST. LOUIS, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) today announced that, through a combination of voluntary and involuntary separation programs, the corporation will have eliminated approximately 300 positions with substantially all employees separated from the company by Dec. 31, 2009. This represents a reduction of approximately 3 percent of the corporation's approximately 9,700 total employees.
The staff reductions result from the following initiatives:
Separated employees have been offered separation benefits consistent with Ameren's standard severance program, which provides either a lump-sum payment of two weeks' pay for each full year of service with a minimum of 13 weeks and maximum of 52 weeks of pay or benefits that are defined in labor contract provisions. In addition, where applicable, separated employees will receive certain other benefits, such as outplacement/financial planning assistance, health insurance premium subsidies and tuition reimbursement.
"We extended these benefits in an effort to help our employees make this difficult transition in this time of economic hardship," said Thomas R. Voss, Ameren president and chief executive officer. "Those same economic conditions make this move necessary for Ameren. We know we must build a more streamlined organization to compete effectively in an environment where costs are rising, energy usage by large industrial customers has dropped and market prices for our merchant generation power have declined significantly."
Voss added that the staffing cuts will not diminish the corporation's ability to continue to provide safe, reliable service.
"This initiative along with the deferral of certain capital expenditure programs and the reduction of many other expenses are part of our continued efforts to maintain our financial strength and flexibility and to deliver solid, long-term returns for our shareholders, while offering high-quality, reliable service to our customers," he said.
To cover the cost of these programs, Ameren recorded a pretax charge to earnings of $17.5 million during the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, as reflected in the earnings release distributed on Oct. 30.
With assets of $24 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 16,300 megawatts. Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
SOURCE: Ameren Corporation
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/