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More workers face layoffs at Dublin Volvo plant


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The Roanoke Times  /  May 26, 2016

Volvo’s only North American truck-making plant plans to enact more layoffs at some time in August, adding on to the hundreds of regional jobs the company already cut earlier this year.

Volvo spokesman John Mies confirmed the latest rounds of layoffs via email Thursday, further explaining that the latest announced round of layoffs is tied to more expected drops in truck production.

“We regret having to take this action, but we operate in a cyclical market, and we have to adapt to market demand,” he said.

Volvo announced in December that it planned to lay off at least 730 of its Dublin plant workers. The company later reduced that number to roughly 600, but Mies said Thursday that it ended up in fact being about 500.

“But a few weeks ago, we further reduced our forecast for the North American market, and unfortunately, it looks like we’ll need to reduce production in the early August time frame, which will affect employment,” he said.

Mies added: “Outplacement support meetings led by the company and UAW [local union] representatives will be provided for all affected employees when we establish the exact timing and scope of the layoffs.”

Mies said those employees will be given information about the Virginia Employment Commission and the regional Rapid Response team.

The regional Rapid Response team operates locally through New River Community College to provide a variety of services to laid-off workers that include financial management seminars, skills training and assistance with job searches.

Truck industry analysts told The Roanoke Times last year that plant layoffs are usually tied to a combination of the economy and whenever demand for the vehicles is lower than how many units are in stock. To maintain their profit margins, experts said, truck makers slash jobs.

Barring a slight drop in 2013, North American Class 8 production — the commercial trucking category tractor trailers fall under — has increased every year since 118,000 units were made during the 2009 recession. It was anticipated that by the end of last year 327,000 units would be built, marking an increase of 30,000 from 2014.

But those same forecasts also predicted production to drop to 251,000 in 2016 and barely rebound to 252,000 in 2017.

Mies said last year that third -quarter orders were indeed down 30 percent from the same time in 2014.

Prior to the layoffs earlier this year, the truck plant employed 2,800 workers, which was up from approximately 1,000 in early 2009.

Last fall, Volvo announced plans to invest $38.1 million and add 32 jobs as part of a project to add a new 36,000-square-foot customer experience center, as well as other plant improvements. Mies said after the layoff announcement last year that the project — expected to be finished in 2017 — is still going forward.

Just two years ago, Volvo made a similar announcement about a $69 million investment that promised to add 200 jobs.

The news of the next round of layoffs comes several weeks after the local union, UAW Local 2069, approved a new labor contract with Volvo that will run until March 16, 2021.

After Volvo and the union reached a previous agreement in 2011, the company rehired about 700 workers who had previously been laid off.

Related reading:

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/43126-volvo-group-to-lay-off-200-at-hagerstown-plant/#comment-315959

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/42949-union-authorizes-volvo-strike/#comment-314157

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/42910-volvo-trucks-to-lay-off-734-workers-at-its-virginia-plant/#comment-313858

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/43123-mack-trucks-laying-off-400-workers-at-macungie/#comment-315947

 

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Volvo announces more layoffs for Dublin plant

WDBJ7  /  May 25, 2016

The Volvo plant in Dublin is cutting more jobs, the company confirmed Wednesday.

A company spokesperson and a union source would not confirm exactly how many employees are being laid off.

Volvo says the layoffs are needed because the company recently lowered its forecast for the North American market.

Volvo will begin to reduce production at the plant in August.

“We regret having to take this action, but we operate in a cyclical market, and we have to adapt to market demand,” a Volvo spokesperson said in a statement.

Volvo employees were notified Wednesday. A union leader tells us the company is shifting from making 120 trucks a day to 92.

In February, the company laid off around 500 employees.

“As with the people affected earlier this year, outplacement support meetings led by the company and UAW representatives will be provided for all affected employees when we establish the exact timing and scope of the layoff. They will also be provided with information regarding the Virginia Employment Commission and the regional Rapid Response team,” a Volvo spokesperson said.

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Volvo confirms more layoffs for late summer

The Southwest Times  /  May 27, 2016

A reduction in projections for the North American truck market has Volvo planning additional layoffs later this summer.

John Mies, vice president of communications for Volvo Group North America, said the company is further reducing production around early August to keep in track with market projections. As such, jobs will be affected. Employees were notified Wednesday.

Mies said the number of employees to be laid off and the exact timeframe for letting them go has not yet been determined.

“We regret having to take this action, but we operate in a cyclical market, and we have to adapt to market demand,” he said. “Outplacement support meetings led by the company and UAW representatives will be provided for all affected employees when we do.”

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Rather embarrassing spot. Clearly, Volvo Group executive vice president and global Volvo Trucks unit president Claes Nilsson, and Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) president Gӧran Nyberg, were both completely wrong in their U.S. market assessment earlier this month. 

It was just the other day (May 12) when they said US truck sales should remain steady.

Amazing how much a situation can change in 13 days.

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/45190-volvo’s-nilsson-and-nyberg-say-us-truck-sales-should-remain-steady/#comment-333115

 

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VTNA Plans More Production Cuts in Early August

Transport Topics  /  June 2, 2016

Volvo Trucks North America announced that it will cut production further in August as it adjusts to a period of reduced demand for its longhaul trucks.

“It’s by now very clear that the industry is managing through a period of excess inventory and reduced demand. And we’re seeing that softening particularly in the longhaul segment, which is core for Volvo Trucks,” VTNA spokesman John Mies told Transport Topics on June 1.

Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo Group, VTNA’s parent company, said in its first-quarter earnings report April 22 that it was reducing its North American Class 8 market forecast to 250,000 units from 260,000.

VTNA last week advised employees at its New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia — which builds every truck it sells in North America — that the truck manufacturer will reduce production in the early August timeframe, as it takes another step to adapt to market conditions, Mies said.

“This unfortunately means that we will have to lay off employees, but it’s too soon to say how many people or exactly when,” Mies said.

The latest talk of more cuts follows an agreement in April between VTNA and United Auto Workers union members at its New River Valley plant on a new five-year contract. The terms of the agreement that extends from March 17, 2016, until March 16, 2021, weren’t released. The vote count also wasn’t disclosed.

Attempts to reach the UAW for comment on the latest announcement were unsuccessful.

Earlier this year, VTNA announced it expected to lay off about 730 workers in February. That number turned out to be around 500, Mies said.

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