Report: Hundreds of International employees offered buyouts

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As many as 400 employees of International Truck and Engine Corp. reportedly may leave the company under a “voluntary separation” agreement International has offered its nonunion employees. According to the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette, employees that take the deal they will receive a severance package based on length of employment of up to 26 weeks of pay and insurance benefits. The voluntary separation agreement was offered only to nonunion staff members, the newspaper reported.

“We are just looking at our staffing situation,” said Jeff Benzing, communications manager for International in Fort Wayne. “We’ve had several large programs coming to a conclusion.” Benzing told the Journal-Gazette that International had no set goal for how many employees it hoped would accept the deal, and he said he would not comment on whether layoffs will follow in January.

Among those programs winding down are the redesigned ProStar trucks International unveiled in March after several years of development. Another reason for the downsizing action is a downturn expected to begin in early 2007 when new Environmental Protection Agency emissions requirements take effect; complying with the new regulations will add $6,000 to $9,000 to the cost of a new truck industrywide and cause truck buyers to hold off ordering in 2007, Benzing told the Journal-Gazette.