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Layoffs keep coming

Jan. 7, 2009
Both motor carriers and trucking’ suppliers cut jobs during 2008 to help streamline operations as a weak marketplace cut deeply into profits. However, the number of layoffs has climbed still higher over the last few weeks

Both motor carriers and trucking’ suppliers cut jobs during 2008 to help streamline operations as a weak marketplace cut deeply into profits. However, the number of layoffs has climbed still higher over the last few weeks.

YRC Worldwide’s efforts to further integrate its two largest subsidiaries, Yellow Transportation and Roadway, includes eliminating nearly 1,000 positions across the U.S by March 1st, which the company called an attempt to reduce duplicate functions.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, YRC confirmed yesterday that it would lay off 771 employees—309 in Tannersville, PA; 95 in East Petersburg, PA; 207 in Lancaster, PA and 160 in Oak Creek, WI. The company also said last week that it would shift its Kernersville, NC, operation to Charlotte, eliminating an additional 210 jobs, although many of the affected employees will have the opportunity to transfer, the Journal said.

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The cuts at the nearby East Petersburg and Lancaster facilities would eliminate approximately three-quarters of the jobs at YRC terminals in southern Pennsylvania, the Lancaster New Era reported. In addition, YRC is asking its remaining union workers to approve a 10% pay cut and skip cost-of-living raises for the next four years, the New Era said.

In addition, the Roadway Express facility in West Seneca, NY will close on March 1st, according to the Buffalo News, as the company will consolidate its functions into the Yellow Transportation facility in Tonawanda, NY. YRC said that some of the 198 union, hourly and clerical employees at the West Seneca location could be transferred, but would not comment on how many, the News said.

Ryder System announced in December it would eliminate 3,100 jobs. While the majority of the layoffs were due to discontinuing its supply chain operations in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, nearly 700 of the positions are in the United States.

“The company believes deteriorating global economic and financial conditions will continue to negatively impact commercial rental performance, used vehicles sales, the automotive sector, and pension plan returns in 2009,” Ryder said in a statement. “The planned workforce reduction is expected to result in cost savings of approximately $36 million in 2009, which will partially offset the impacts of these significant challenges. Ryder will also be significantly reducing the use of contractors and temporary employees, where appropriate, throughout its operations.”

Manufacturers that supply the trucking industry are also trimming workforces. Engine maker Cummins Inc. announced last month that it would reduce its worldwide workforce by at least 500 employees, offering compensation packages to a number of the affected employees, the company said.

“Cummins already has taken a number of actions across the company to try to bring costs in line with our reduced current demand and to meet the expected challenges of 2009,” said chairman & CEO Tim Solso. “Despite those efforts, we have now reached a point where we will have to take more significant steps to reduce our professional workforce around the world.”

Approximately 100 of the workers were from Cummins Emission Solutions’ plant in Mineral Point, WI, according to CNNMoney.com. The factory, which produces diesel particulate filters for emission control systems, now employees 480 workers.

Truck OEM and engine builder Navistar has cut 200 jobs from its Chatham, ON plant, scheduled to take effect March 1st, according to the Canadian Press. When coupled with the 490 layoffs announced in November, only 180 employees will be left at the facility.

Even top managers are feeling the pinch, as ArvinMeritor will cut pay for 100 senior executives, including CEO Chip McClure, by 10% effective January 16th, Reuters has reported.

About the Author

Justin Carretta

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