Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Roadway Layoffs May be Overcome

Economic developers in the Poconos say nearly 200 layoffs at Roadway Express is certainly a loss for the area but they're not overly concerned because Monroe County leads the state in job creation.
That doesn't comfort truck drivers working for trucking company. About 20 percent,or 187, stand to lose their jobs at the company's Stroudsburg terminal in March.
The union is still working with the company to try to save as many jobs as possible but news of the likely layoffs has workers worried.
"Technically I don't know if I'm going to lose my job but I'm fourth from the bottom of the list. So obviously I'm going to lose my job," said driver Fred Barkalow. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. It was an opportunity to come here and I thought and I'll have a job for life here. I don't know what I'm going to do from here."
A spokesman for Teamster's Local 229 representing Roadway workers said those who may be laid off will be offered the chance to transfer to other locations."Hopefully maybe I can transfer to a different terminal, if not I'll just have to find a job somewhere else," Barkalow added.
"From a jobs perspective it really does hurt when you lose quality jobs like Roadway. We're disappointed that they made the decision," said Chuck Leonard, executive director of Pocono Mountains Industries. But, he added, Monroe County has a lot of strength in attracting other businesses.
"Our net job creation rate was the best in the state of Pennsylvania which is related to our ever-growing population and also the fact that many businesses are expanding here," Leonard said.Even though Monroe County does have a lot of jobs available, it's not clear if any laid off Roadway Express workers will be able to find similar jobs in the Poconos.

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