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Weyerhaeuser to Eliminate 750 Corporate Positions over Next Two Years

Press release from the issuing company

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.---Oct. 16, 2002--Weyerhaeuser Company today announced it will eliminate about 750 staff positions at its corporate headquarters over the next two years as part of a continuing effort to reduce overhead costs and maintain competitiveness. The job eliminations will occur in stages -- the majority will occur throughout 2003, but some not until 2004. The company earlier this year communicated to employees its plans to streamline corporate support functions as part of its integration with Willamette Industries and an overall effort to reduce costs. Today's external announcement complies with a federal law designed to help displaced employees. The company currently employs about 2,850 people at its headquarters in Federal Way. This number will be reduced by about 26 percent by the end of 2004. All corporate-staff groups will be impacted to some extent, with the impact felt chiefly in the finance and information technology functions. "This is a difficult but necessary decision to reduce the cost of doing business and make us more competitive," said Steven R. Hill, senior vice president, Human Resources. Hill said the company has announced work force decisions to affected groups as decisions have been made. Each group will now determine how to implement the job eliminations over the next two years. The company is publicly announcing the job eliminations and notifying local officials, as required by the federal Worker Adjustment And Retraining Notification (WARN) Act for certain reductions in force. The intent is to provide affected employees access to multiple resources to assist in their transition and job search. Hill said that the extended time frame will allow for an orderly transition and help minimize the impact on employees. As much as possible, the positions will be eliminated through attrition over the next two years due to retirements and employees leaving for other jobs. Hill said the company will help employees transition to new jobs. Assistance will include 60 days paid notice, severance pay, extended health care, tuition reimbursement, and information about resources for job-search assistance. Weyerhaeuser currently employs about 8,200 in Washington. The company has approximately 58,000 employees worldwide.