Mack Trucks Inc. recently announced plans to lay off 400 workers at their Pennsylvania manufacturing facility, citing reduced demand for their trucks.
The layoffs will begin January 25 at the Lower Macungie Township plant, which makes engines, transmissions, and axles. The 400 employees who will be laid off represent 20% of the plant’s workforce.
Union Local 677 President Ed Baluka says that there is a plan in place to help soften the blow because of a provision in the union contract. Senior workers will be able to take layoffs in 13-week or 26-week increments while collecting unemployment. After the layoff period is up, the worker would return to a position hopefully opened up by another senior worker taking a layoff. In this way, tenured employees hope to shield junior workers from job loss.
Baluka admits that this arrangement is very rare but hopes that workers can “share the pain” of the layoffs.