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Daimler warns employees large layoffs possible

Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks employs about 20,000 workers. Its Freightliner brand leads the U.S. in Class 8 sales.

By EMERY P. DALESIO
The Associated Press

1/30/2013

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Daimler Trucks North America said Tuesday it was warning thousands of workers that potentially large layoffs could be coming at manufacturing plants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon and Mexico.

The company said in a statement that it was notifying production workers about the layoffs two months in advance, in compliance with federal law. More details were expected to be released Thursday.

A company spokesman declined to say whether any plants were off the list of sites for potential layoffs.

Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks employs about 20,000 workers building Freightliner and Western Star trucks, Thomas Built school buses, along with engines and parts. The unit is a division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG.

The spokesperson told Bloomberg News that the company would cut 2,100 jobs worldwide, including 1,300 in production jobs in North America.

It was a year ago that the company's Freightliner long-distance truck plant in Cleveland said it would recall about 1,100 workers. The factory said it needed the manpower because demand in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa was improving.

Increased need for trucks indicated companies and consumers were buying more products and homes since "America moves on trucks," Daimler Trucks chief operating officer Roger Nielsen said then.

But Daimler Trucks said last summer it had rehired only about half its stated goal for the Cleveland plant because demand had not materialized as forecast.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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