Freightliner Laying Off 1,528 Workers

Truck manufacturer blames "continued depressed market conditions" for need to reduce work force; 1,200 workers were laid off in spring 2007.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Truck manufacturer Freightliner LLC said Monday it would layoff up to 1,528 workers at its assembly plant north of Charlotte in July.
 
In a statement to The Charlotte Observer, the Portland, Ore.-based company said ''continued depressed market conditions'' forces it to reduce the size of the work force at the Cleveland plant as of July 10.
 
Calls made by The Associated Press to the company and a United Auto Workers union representative were not immediately returned.
 
Freightliner laid off nearly 1,200 people at the plant this spring, at the time blaming the cuts on new federal diesel emissions standards that have forced the company to add expensive technology to the trucks.
 
Debbie Davis, who manages a state job center in Rowan County, said Freightliner had been the county's largest employer, with between 4,500 and 5,000 workers before the layoffs began.
 
The layoffs were announced the same day Freightliner's parent company, DaimlerChrysler AG, said it was selling a controlling stake in its U.S. car company, Chrysler, to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP for $7.4 billion.
 
Workers at the Cleveland plant, located about 44 miles north of Charlotte, approved a new contract this month.

 
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