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AECI Confirms LayoffsLock Icon

1 min read

After Whispers received a letter from “concerned co-op members” about job cuts in its right-of-way department, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. of Little Rock confirmed that it had eliminated 16 positions.

“On Friday, March 8, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), the statewide services association for the 17 local electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas, notified 16 employees within the organization’s right-of-way department that their positions had been eliminated,” AECI spokesman Rob Roedel said in an emailed statement.

The anonymous letter, dated March 9, said the stated reason for the layoffs was “lack of work,” but claimed the right-of-way department was already working with “skeleton crews” and had imposed a hiring freeze despite “hundreds of contracted miles yet to be completed.”

But Roedel said the layoffs were necessary to streamline AECI’s business focus “due to a changing business environment.”

He said the company, which provides support to the 17 distribution cooperatives around the state, now has about 290 employees. That’s down from 315 workers listed on the company’s website.

“The right-of-way department will focus on high quality performance and growth opportunities for 2024 and 2025,” Roedel’s statement said.

He did not respond to a question about how many of AECI’s employees are in the right-of-way department, which keeps power lines clear of tree branches and other impediments within the distribution cooperatives’ footprints statewide and as contract work for utilities out of state.

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