Port Manatee planning to furlough employees

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 23, 2013 

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Cranes unload containers carrying a variety of Guatemalan melons including cantaloupe form the 529-foot container vessel Ranjan at Port Manatee Thursday. Ranjan is the first cellular container ship to call on Port Manatee.Photos by GRANT JEFFERIES/gjefferies@bradenton.com

GRANT JEFFERIES — gjefferies@bradenton.com Buy Photo

PORT MANATEE -- Port Manatee plans to furlough its 54 employees for one day per month possibly through September, port officials said Monday.

The Mosaic Co. is shifting its fertilizer shipments from Port Manatee to a company-owned terminal south of Tampa later this month, according to a release issued Monday by Virginia Zimmermann, the port's marketing and public relations assistant.

"We at Port Manatee were not in a position to avert or even negotiate this, as Mosaic is not a direct customer of the port but rather a customer of a port tenant," the release said.

"Such actions, similar to those enacted at the Port of Baltimore, have become an accepted practice to help offset the cyclical nature of the port business while helping to preclude the possibility of job losses," it said.

Mosaic spokesperson Jackie Barron said her company's contract included phosphate shipping at both Port Manatee and the Port of Tampa.

Mosaic officials decided to expand their Big Bend facility, and to move their business to their own facility, she added.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Following

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