Layoffs at Lufkin Industries have begun

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Industries is laying off 173 employees Friday, according to Vice President Paul Perez.

One worker said he had more than a dozen years with the company.

Another former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was given the news after clocking in and will be paid for four hours of work today. He also said he will be given one week of severance pay. He said employees with the company longer than two years will be given a bigger severance package.

Perez, said some employees may be called back to work if their business improves.  Friday's layoffs were in the oilfield and foundry units.

This latest round of layoffs comes on the heels of a positive report just last month that said L-I's earnings rose 61 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.  The fourth quarter earnings helped boost revenue up by 33 percent.  At the same time, the company had expressed concern that the current economic conditions might impact first quarter 2009 business.

Founded in 1902, Lufkin Industries Inc. is a vertically integrated company that designs, engineers, manufactures, sells, installs and services high quality and high value-added oil field equipment and power transmission products across the globe.

KTRE will continue to follow development of this story throughout the day here on and on KTRE's East Texas News.