Anniston Chemical Depot begins to layoff workers

On Tuesday, the first Army employees to lose their jobs since the end of chemical weapons destruction at the Anniston Army depot were given notice.

In a Tuesday statement, the Army’s Anniston Chemical Activity in Alabama said that it delivered letters to several employees, notifying 22 of them that their jobs would change. An additional 13 were told that their jobs would be gone by April 7, the Anniston Star reports.

Workers at the Anniston Chemical Activity have been responsible for the safe storage of Anniston’s chemical weapons stockpile since 1995. Starting in 2003, the workers were also tasked with the safe transportation of those weapons to the incinerator for destruction.

The Army and its contract partner, Westinghouse Anniston, destroyed the last of the stockpiled weapons in September, which means the beginning of shutdown operations for both the incinerator site and for the Anniston Chemical Activity, according to the Anniston Star.

Twenty-two workers were told that they had been moved to different jobs within the mission to help shutdown the approximately 20 Anniston Chemical Activity sites and to clean 155 earthen bunkers where the chemical weapons were once stored.

The other 13 workers were given four month notice that their jobs would soon end.  

“During these four months, we’re very hopeful, I’d like to say we’re optimistic, that they’ll find other opportunities, maybe on Aniston Army Depot (or elsewhere in the Defense Department)," Lt. Col. Willie Flucker, the current commander of the activity, said, according to the Anniston Star.

The Anniston Chemical Activity shutdown is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.