UPDATED: Governor, Cheney react to HF Sinclair layoff report

Sinclair refinery in Sinclair, Wyo. (James St. John)

GILLETTE, Wyo. ⁠— HF Sinclair Corp. has laid off almost 90 employees at its Sinclair, Wyoming, facility, a company spokesperson said Wednesday evening.

HF Sinclair Corporate Communications Director Corinn Smith said in a 7:33 p.m. email Wednesday that this week, 87 employees were told their roles were being eliminated. Thirty-two of those roles were immediately ended, and the rest will remain until September, she said.

HollyFrontier Corp. and Holly Energy Partners, L.P. announced March 14 that HF Sinclair Corp. became the parent holding company of those two entities and that they had acquired Sinclair Oil Corp. and Sinclair Transportation Company from The Sinclair Companies.

“As a result of the recent acquisition, we are aligning our facilities to reflect best practices for operational excellence,” she said. “Through this work, we have made changes to organizational structures across the newly acquired facilities that will allow us to operate more efficiently, while maintaining safety and reliability.”

Impacted employees have been invited to apply for other open positions and the company is working with the state of Wyoming to help employees find other jobs, she said.

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“We care about our employees and understand this is difficult news and have Employee Assistance Program counselors on site for anyone who needs to talk,” she said. “We remain committed to being a good corporate citizen, continuing local operations and supporting the community as we have in the past.”

HF Sinclair Corp. laid off nearly 100 employees at its Sinclair refinery Tuesday, radio station Bigfoot 99 reported Wednesday. Government officials reacted to the news.

“I am troubled to learn of the HollyFrontier Sinclair refinery layoffs,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a statement Oil City News received Wednesday. “My greatest immediate concern is with the displaced workers and the economic impact on the communities of Rawlins and Sinclair. My administration stands by to mobilize resources to assist the workers and their families, as well as the surrounding communities.”

Despite the layoffs, as of 5:05 p.m. Wednesday, the HF Sinclair corporate site said there were six job openings in Casper, 12 in Sinclair and two in Cheyenne.⁠

“This is devastating news for the affected employees, their families, and the communities of Rawlins and Sinclair,” U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said in a Facebook post at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. “My office will be working with the Governor’s office as well as these communities and individuals to ensure we do everything possible to assist those affected.”

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Gordon’s task force plans to meet Friday regarding refineries’ capacity and transportation abilities, among other topics regarding how to lower fuel prices for Wyoming residents.

County 17 asked Smith Wednesday the following questions following Bigfoot 99’s report:

  • Can you please verify that there was a layoff of at least 97 employees at a refinery in Sinclair, WY yesterday? Did that include 35 employees in the trucking department?
  • If the size of the layoffs is correct, how will this impact operations in Cheyenne and Casper?
  • If the size of the layoffs is correct, what is the reason for the layoffs?
  • How many positions have been eliminated, and which positions were they?
  • How will this impact Sinclair customers?
  • Are these temporary or permanent layoffs?
  • What do you want Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette residents to know regarding employment at your company?

Oil City News has contacted Cheney’s office and has not heard back as of publication. This story will be updated with any responses.

UPDATE, 2:25 p.m. July 14: County 17 was able to secure comment from HF Sinclair and a family member of an impacted worker.

Note, 9:13 p.m. July 14: Family members of the previously mentioned impacted workers requested the information included in the story be pulled.