Freightliner Plants Cut 800 Jobs Amid Sales Decline

Freightliner Job Cuts Affect 800 Workers Amid Truck Sales Decline

Freightliner job cuts have even announced by Daimler Trucks North America with plans to reduce the workforce from two of its Charlotte, N.C. plants by 800 as new orders for certain models of its trucks continue to decline.

April Bowen and her husband, Jonathan, have known for about a month that layoffs were coming to Freightliner. They just didn’t know when it’d happen and who would make it. Her husband was among the 600 unlucky ones at the Mount Holly plant and 200 unlucky ones at the Gastonia facility.

“Thank God I found a better job making more money before he got this news,” said Bowen, a security officer. The cuts will be effective on or before July 1, the Portland, Ore.-based company says. All told, 1,240 jobs were eliminated across the DTNA system.

The huge Rowan County Freightliner plant and one of its truck plants in Mexico escaped the latest workforce reductions. DTNA says it believes the cuts will be temporary, and those workers whose jobs were eliminated will get first dibs on being recalled.

At its Mount Holly plant, David Giroux, a spokesman for Freightliner parent company Daimler Trucks North America said that their last day is June 24. Daimler will also lay off about 270 workers at a plant in Santiago, Mexico, by June 29.

About 170 workers will get cut at the Western Star facility in Portland, Oregon, where Daimler Trucks North America is based. Giroux said the layoffs should be temporary. Daimler expects a 15 percent decrease in sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the kind of trucks made at the Mount Holly plant.

The Gastonia plant, home to about 1,300 employees, provides fabrication and assembly work for parts used in Daimler products, according to the company website. According to documents the company had to provide the state given the number of people laid off, employees who are part of the union will receive:

  • Pay and benefits through Aug. 6
  • Earned but unused vacation pay within seven days after the layoff date

When the company last reported layoffs in February, it said about 1,450 people were left at the Mount Holly plant after the layoffs. The company says it expects retail sales of its larger trucks to be down 15% in 2016 compared with last year.

It’s the second big cutback at Charlotte-area plants so far this year. In February, the German truck maker cut 1,250 jobs from its North American plants. Hardest hit locally was also the Mount Holly plant, which lost 700 employees, and the Rowan County plant, which lost 550. That came on the heels of a January layoff at the Rowan County plant that resulted in 936 jobs lost.

Before the cuts started in the new year, the DTNA was near its historically high employment rate of about 6,000 workers at the three Charlotte-area plants.

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