Paccar will lay off 430 workers at its Renton facilty in January, according to information it filed with the state Employment Security Department.

Share story

Paccar will lay off 430 workers at its Renton Kenworth plant in January as it battles a crumbling market for heavy-duty trucks.

The company filed notice of the layoff today with the state Employment Security Department, said Sheryl Hutchison, communications director for the agency.

The company will stop making highway trucks at its Renton facility, and will produce only 2 off-highway trucks per day. As of last year, the company was building 18 trucks a day in Renton.

Don Hursey, directing business representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 160, said Friday that some 329 hourly workers and 92 management employees were being let go. About 66 employees will remain at the plant, he said.

Paccar spokesman Jeff Parietti said the company plans “to increase the build rate at the Kenworth Renton plant when market conditions return to normal levels…. We look forward to get employees back to work when the economy recovers.”

However, Hursey said production won’t restart at the plant unless “the market conditions are really good.”

“It truly is terrible,” he said.

“We’re probably not going back to work,” said one worker about to be laid off.

Layoffs will begin on Jan. 16. The Employment Security Department has set up four informational sessions on Nov. 16 at the plant, to inform workers about unemployment benefits, job search classes, and other services.

Paccar declined late Thursday to specify how many employees would be let go, or to say by how much it would slow down its production at the plant, which manufacturers Kenworth trucks.

Paccar estimates that retail sales of heavy-duty trucks will only reach 150,000 in the U.S. and Canada this year, down from 176,000 in 2007 and 322,000 in 2006, according to Parietti.

In late October the company posted third-quarter profits of $299 million, down 1.1 percent, the fifth profit decline in six quarters.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com