165 layoffs announced for Walker Machinery and Whayne Supply

Published: Jul. 12, 2016 at 4:02 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A total of 165 people will be laid off after Walker Machinery and Whayne Supply announced layoffs Tuesday.

The layoffs include 78 employees across nine Walker Machinery locations in West Virginia, as well as 87 employees at the 16 Whayne Supply locations in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

A Walker Machinery location is in Belle, West Virginia, and WSAZ caught up with that community's mayor on Tuesday.

Mayor Buck Chestnut says Walker Machinery's cutbacks will impact Belle's community.

He said Walker Machinery provides sizable tax revenue for the town. After the company announced its downsize, Chestnut is left to get creative with his budget.

"We have already started looking at every line item, and we're trying to do what we can to manage what money we have coming in. We're not extravagant but we still have a certain cost to operate the town," Chestnut said.

Both companies said in statements on their website that the layoffs come because of "deterioration in our traditional markets and the coal industry with no signs of future improvement for some time."

They both also said they had "to make the difficult decision to right size our locations and support center affected by these conditions".

The companies said prior to these layoffs, they've worked to reduce expenses and have made opportunities available for employees to move into positions in other areas of the companies with relocation packages provided.

Walker Machinery, which was founded in West Virginia in 1950, has facilities in nine cities across West Virginia and southeastern Ohio.

Whayne Supply was founded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1913 and is one of the oldest and largest Caterpillar equipment dealers in the country, with 17 facilities in 16 cities across Kentucky and southern Indiana.