Officials at Oregon-based Daimler Trucks North America say they are planning significant layoffs at their plants in the United States and Mexico – layoffs that apparently include the company’s three Freightliner plants in the Charlotte area.
The company made the announcement as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires companies to provide advance notice when 500 or more jobs will be cut.
Daimler Trucks issued a brief statement Tuesday and said additional details will come Thursday.
But employee meetings were held in at least some of the plants Tuesday, and workers said they heard up to 1,300 layoffs are possible at the company’s plants.
Freightliner employs 2,900 people at a truck manufacturing plant in Mount Holly and a parts factory in Gastonia. In the Rowan County town of Cleveland, 2,100 more people work at a manufacturing plant. Freightliner also has plants in Gaffney, S.C.; High Point; and Portland, Ore.
Employees who spoke with reporters Tuesday indicated the largest number of layoffs – in the hundreds – would come at the Mount Holly and Cleveland plants.
Daimler Trucks cut 2,100 jobs in 2009 and 2010 but added more than 1,500 jobs in 2011. President Barack Obama visited the Mount Holly plant last March, saying the new jobs were a sign of the economic recovery. At the time, the company said there was increased demand for trucks and parts in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.