Columbian files A Western Star truck is loaded onto a ship bound for Australia at the Port of Vancouver.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Daimler Trucks North America said Tuesday it was warning thousands of workers that potentially large layoffs could be coming at plants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon and Mexico.
The company said 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. Officials with United Auto Workers’ local unions at Freightliner plants in Mount Holly and Cleveland, N.C., declined comment.
Portland-based Daimler Trucks employs about 20,000 workers building Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built school buses, along with engines and parts. The unit is a division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG. The company’s Portland plant employs about 1,000 workers, who make Western Star trucks.
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.