FRANKFORT, Ky. — More than half of the employees at Bendixs Frankfort, Ky. location are slated to be laid off Jan. 2, the company has announced. A total of 125 employees (123 hourly and two salaried) will be laid off with only 95 employees (68 production and 27 salaried) remaining at the facility down nearly 57% from 2006 staffing levels.Bendix officials say the January 2007 launch of the Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter engine emission standards, coupled with the extensive truck pre-buy in 2006, is expected to drive down demand for new vehicles and have a significant impact on original equipment truck manufacturers and their suppliers, including Bendix. OEMs that use the air compressors built by the Frankfort facility are projecting an approximately 40% decline in truck production in 2007, coupled with a comparable engine build reduction. This combination is expected to bring the demand for engine-related components, like compressors, to a trickle beginning in January.”This difficult decision was not entered into without careful evaluation and consideration, especially for those who will be impacted by the layoffs,” said Michael Paul, Frankfort plant manager. “We are committed to making every effort to ensure that the needs of the affected employees have been met. We have enlisted the aid of outplacement and governmental agencies to assist those impacted in securing alternate employment opportunities.”Remaining production workers will service the compressors business as well as staff the company’s North American air disc brake production that commenced at the plant in the second quarter of 2006. The layoffs are viewed as permanent, and those hourly manufacturing employees impacted will be placed on a recall list and will become eligible for state unemployment assistance.
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