Freightliner could announce 1,000 layoffs Thursday - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Freightliner could announce 1,000 layoffs Thursday

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Hundreds of people could soon be out of a job as Daimler Trucks North America warns of possible job cuts nationwide.

According to company officials, DTNA "is in the process of notifying production workers across DTNA's North American manufacturing facilities of a potential layoff in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act."

Daimler has not confirmed how many people could lose their jobs in the Charlotte area.

But employees told WBTV as many as 80 people could lose their jobs in Gastonia, possibly 400 in Mount Holly and up to 715 in Cleveland.

"It hurts. It's a hardship on everybody. You don't ever want to lose a job," said one employee.

A spokesman for the company would not give an exact number. The company is expected to release more information on Thursday.

At Mount Holly's Freightliner Plant, it is the waiting that seems to be the toughest.

Who stays, who goes, and when will the Pink slips be handed out?

Gloom perhaps, but along Main Street optimism can be found.

This Friday, Kerry Queen will open a new downtown bakery in Mount Holly, and she call's the issues at Freightliner a temporary inconvenience.

" I do think it's a cycle" she said."It's all gonna level back out and the economy is gonna be better."

Whenever the big truck plant catches a bad cold, the rest of Mount Holly ends up with the shivers, but those who understand economic trends understand the climate.

Donnie Hicks heads up Gaston County Office of Economic Development.

"I think it will again be a temporary move and that Freightliner will bounce back. They have a majority of the market in the U.S."Hicks said.

 The plant did get a visit from the president in recent months, but that didn't stave off what's to come.

Job cuts aren't painting the total picture; because Freightliner is building is creating another local silver lining in Gaston County.

 Hicks said, "They're making a huge commitment and to Gaston County, they're building a 310 thousand square foot logistics center."

Back on Main Street,  Kerry Queen is holding on to hope.

 "We've got so much support from family and friends. I think we will do very well."

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.

This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives.

"We hate to see anybody get laid off," said Mt. Holly resident Jack Stetzer.

WARN also stipulates that if there is a mass layoff, which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or a third of the employer's active workforce, notice must be given.

Freightliner plants in Gastonia and Mount Holly reportedly employ approximately 2,900 people.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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