Lufkin Industries lays off 173 employees

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KLTV) - Two East Texas employers are making big cuts into their workforce.

Lufkin Industries and Tyler Pipe announced layoffs Friday. It comes amid news that the nation's unemployment rate is now the worst since 1983, at over eight percent.

Lufkin Industries announced they are laying off 173 employees from their oilfield and foundry units, despite the fact that the company's earnings rose 61 percent in the last quarter of 2008. Vice President Paul Perez said economic concerns in 2009 spurred the layoffs.

One worker who lost her job says she's optimistic for herself, but concerned about others.

"I feel horrible for all the people with families," said Amanda Kelly. "I'm a single woman. I'll be okay."

Perez said some of the employees may be called back to work if business improves.