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Market forcing layoffs at Mack

March 30, 2001

Market forcing layoffs at Mack



By ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Mack Trucks Inc. announced Friday that it will lay off 12 percent of its workforce by the end of July and will reduce production in 10 days.

At Mack's Hagerstown Powertrain Operations, 150 jobs will be eliminated out of 1,085, Mack spokesman John Mies said from the company's Allentown, Pa., headquarters.

Mack said a declining truck market is forcing the company to cut about 700 jobs. Besides the Hagerstown plant, the layoffs will include about 300 out of 940 jobs at the Macungie (Pa.) Assembly Operations and about 135 out of 930 jobs at the Winnsboro (S.C.) Assembly Operations.

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Mack also plans to cut 130 jobs outside its assembly facilities by April 30 through attrition or by leaving positions unfilled.

Mies said a combination of factors is hurting Mack's market. One is a general slowdown in the national economy, affecting the amount of freight that is hauled. Another is the high price of fuel, which is hampering the trucking industry, Mies said.

Also, there has been a glut of new trucks sold in recent years, leaving a lot of used trucks and less demand for new ones, he said.

Across the industry, sales are down 37 percent this year, according to Mack.

The company reported that its layoffs will be complete by July 27, the start of a regularly scheduled shutdown period.

Effective April 9, the Hagerstown plant will drop its daily output from 186 engines to 165 and from 39 transmissions to 23.

The same day, the Winnsboro plant will cut its daily production from 72 trucks to 63.

In Macungie, production will drop gradually from 62 trucks per day to 45 by July.

Mies said Mack told Hagerstown employees last week that the cutback would be from 39 transmissions to 29 and that 75 employees there would be laid off. Those estimates were later revised.

Mack's last layoffs in Hagerstown were in August, when 60 jobs were cut, Mies said.

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