Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Oil industry giant ExxonMobil announced Thursday it will be laying off about 1,900 workers through layoffs and voluntary programs, blaming the reductions on the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The Texas-based company said in a statement the decision came from a "global review" of the oil industry, which has been rocked hard by travel restrictions brought on by the spread of COVID-19 around the globe.
"These actions will improve the company's long-term cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through the current unprecedented market conditions," ExxonMobil said in a statement. "The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil's products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work."
ExxonMobil had previously announced 1,600 layoffs in Australia and its European operations.
"The company recognizes these decisions will impact employees and their families and has put these programs in place only after comprehensive evaluation and thoughtful deliberation," ExxonMobil said. "Employees who are separated through involuntary programs will be provided with support, including severance and outplacement services."
Exxon CEO Darren Woods told workers who attended a town hall meeting last week in the Houston suburb of Spring that it could not hold off layoffs much longer because of the crumbling oil industry.
"ExxonMobil's announcement about thousands of job cuts is another log on the bonfire that's been oil and gas employment in 2020," Jeff Bush, president of CSI Recruiting, said.
ExxonMobil, once of the world's largest publicly traded company at $136 billion, was surpassed by Zoom ($140 billion) in market value this year.