Cardinal Logistics Laying Off 69 Employees in Salem, VA
Dozens of layoffs were triggered this week after grocery chain Kroger Co terminated its logistics contract with trucking company Cardinal Logistics Management Corporation in Salem, Virginia.
According to Cardinal’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Adjustment (WARN) notice, the company is laying off 69 trucking employees.
The Concord, North Carolina-based company was required to file the WARN notice with Virginia Board of Workforce Development because the number of job cuts is considered a “mass layoff.” The fact that the trucking company layoffs triggered the need to file a WARN notice implies that the layoffs in Salem are impacting at least one-third of its workforce in the city.
Cardinal’s WARN notice says that the layoffs will go into effect on December 2, leaving the truckers out of work just weeks before Christmas.
Kroger has a large warehouse facility in Salem-Roanoke County. The company employs third-party subcontractors like Cardinal Logistics Management for supply chain management services, specifically the transportation of goods between warehouses and retail locations.
Cardinal Logistics, which owns a fleet of trucks and trailers to transport heavy freight, employs about 4,000 workers in the United States, including Puerto Rico.
Wilson Trucking Corporation Layoffs in Virginia
Virginia also got hit by trucking company layoffs earlier this year when the family-owned private company Wilson Trucking Corporation laid off about 100 employees in Fishersville, Augusta County.
The almost-century-old trucking company, which has a significant presence in Augusta County, announced that 50 of its truck drivers and warehouse workers, as well as 50 office employees, would be permanently sent home as the company downsizes ahead of its sale.
Prior to the layoffs, Wilson Trucking had about 1,500 employees in the country’s southeast region, and was one of the top 30 largest employers in Augusta County.
While Augusta County Economic Development Director Amanda Glover said she believes that the truckers who lost their jobs in the Wilson Trucking Corporation Layoffs will be able to find work elsewhere, the fact of the matter is that trucking jobs are increasingly becoming dispensable over time.
Jobs that require little to no education or skill have a high turnover. In addition, technology, or more specifically automation, is turning out to be a grave threat to the trucking industry.
Unionized trucking employees have already begun to lobby for their rights. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that represents about 600,000 truck drivers, protested earlier this month that the government must intervene and regulate the self-driving technologies that are posing a serious threat to their jobs.
Their protests followed the release of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc which that predicted that automated trucks would end up killing thousands of truck driving jobs. According to Goldman Sachs, up to 25,000 trucking jobs could be lost per month after self-driving trucks take over the industry.
So, while these recent trucking company layoffs may have been a result of factors other than technology, employees of the trucking industry remain fearful of losing their jobs due to automation.
“WARN Notices,” Virginia Board of Workforce Development, last accessed October 4, 2017.
“Trucking company announces job cuts after end of Kroger contract,” The Roanoke Times, October 3, 2017.
“Layoffs Coming to Wilson Trucking Corporation in Fishersville,” NBC29, March 18, 2017.