Kenworth Laying Off 10% of Workers at Ohio Truck Plant

Kenworth Truck Co. said Wednesday it is laying off 10% of workers at its Class 8 assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, because of a drop in heavy-duty truck orders.

“We gave the workers three days notice on the layoff, which will [take] effect Monday,” Kenworth spokesman Jeff Parietti told Transport Topics.

He said that 10% of the plant’s workers received the layoff notices, but declined to give actual numbers, saying it was against company policy to disclose the total number of people employed at its plants or any other figure on employee numbers.

Citing analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the plant’s total headcount was 2,000 to 2,500, or about 10% of parent company Paccar Inc.’s total workforce. Paccar is also the parent of Peterbilt Motors Co.

Parietti cited a decline in new truck orders as the reason for the layoffs.

“That plant makes our Class 8 trucks. The T 660, T 800, T 700 and the W 900 are the main models assembled there,” he told TT.

”All of our other plants are maintaining their current build and employment levels at this time,” Parietti added.

In March, manufacturers receicved about 20,000 Class 8 truck orders — a 31% drop from a year ago and the third straight month of year-over-year declines.

By Frederick Kiel
Staff Reporter

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