The first round of layoffs at Tesoro’s Kapolei refinery has begun.
Two-week notices were given to a handful of workers on Monday.
Meanwhile, the company is continuing talks with potential buyers.
If Tesoro is unable to find any buyers, 165 additional workers will be laid off next month.
The refinery will still be used as a terminal for imported fuel.
No interruption to the state’s fuel supply is expected.
“My office has been in constant communication with the Tesoro companies and is working with the relevant state agencies to ensure that unemployment assistance, job placement and other help be provided to the workers that may be laid off. In addition, we are coordinating our efforts with the refinery task force to ensure that there is no disruption in fuel supply in the state of Hawaii, and we are confident for the purposes of Hawaii’s economy and the needs of the Department of Defense that fuel will continue to be available. Our main concern is with the workers and their families, and we will do whatever we can to help them to land on their feet,” Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement released Monday.
“As Tesoro continues talks with potential buyers, my office remains committed to looking for ways to help mitigate the impact of its closure and assist those workers who may lose their jobs. Tesoro said it will honor its current supply contracts to the military, HECO, and private individuals, and I will do all that I can to ensure that the transition to an alternate fuel supply goes as smoothly as possible,” U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said in a statement released Monday.