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About 60 Volvo workers accept voluntary layoffs

March 31, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

About 60 people have taken voluntary layoffs this year from the Volvo Powertrain plant on Pennsylvania Avenue north of Hagerstown, said Cynthia Gagliardi, manager of communications for Volvo Powertrain North America.

The layoffs came from the manufacturing sector, Gagliardi said.

The Volvo Powertrain plant produces Volvo and Mack heavy-truck engines and Mack transmissions.

"No permanent layoffs have happened yet," Gagliardi said.

Business has slowed industrywide as the demand for heavy trucks recently declined, she said.

The workers who accepted the voluntary layoffs are eligible for unemployment and supplemental unemployment benefits, Gagliardi said.

The news of the layoffs came as no surprise.

In October, Volvo Powertrain officials announced there would be 600 layoffs at the Washington County plant.

The peak employment at Mack Trucks, as the Volvo Powertrain plant was known for decades, was about 4,600 in 1979, but the work force decreased in the 1980s and 1990s.

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About 135 people retired from the plant at the end of 2006, Gagliardi said.

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