A second round of layoffs went underway this year at Volvo’s truck manufacturing plant in Pulaski County. This triggered elimination of over 300 jobs. This was announced by the company last Friday.
“We regret having to take this action, but we operate in a cyclical market, and we have to adapt to market demand,” Volvo Trucks North America spokesman John Mies wrote in an email.
“Outplacement support meetings led by the company and UAW (union) representatives will be provided for all affected employees. They will also be provided with information regarding the Virginia Employment Commission and the regional Rapid Response Team,” he added.
The Regional Rapid Response Team that is based at New River Community College in Dublin helps the laid off workers in order to find new jobs and more so to receive additional training.
Mies indicated that the layoffs will occur this September.
It was originally announced by the car brand that the layoffs will commence by May. However, they didn’t specify at that time just how many workers would be affected.
The announcement just came right after 500 layoffs occurred in the month of February. The reason is very much similar to what was stated by Mies.
Prior to this event, the truck actually employed over 2,800 workers. This is up from the usual 1000 in early 2009. Last spring, the local union UAW Local 2069 approved a new labor contract with the car brand that it will run until March 2021. This is after Volvo and its union reached a previous agreement way back in 2011. The company rehired over 700 workers.
Volvo officials said that the significant job cuts at the plant this 2016 is a response to expected reductions with regards to truck demand. Forecasts show a drop to 251,000 in 2016 and barely rebound to 252,000 in 2017.
This is definitely one sad news for Volvo workers in their truck department. Good thing that their union is providing them with things to do in order to make those employees employable. However, this move should be anticipated by the car brand in order to minimize worker displacement. They must at least moved the other workers to other segments of their factory and perhaps train them in order to fit the other demands of the brand. At least, they would be able to eliminate a few numbers rather than by the hundreds.