Great Dane Cutting 115 Jobs At Indiana Plant

Following ‘tremendous’ cutbacks by its customers, Great Dane Trailers will lay off half the workers at the trailer maker's Terre Haute plant, the company said.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- Great Dane Trailers will lay off half the workers at the trailer maker's Terre Haute plant following "tremendous" cutbacks by its customers, the company said.

The announcement that about 115 Terre Haute workers will lose their jobs next month comes a week after Great Dane announced that in January it will close its nearly 100-year-old plant in Savannah, Ga., where the company is based.

The Savannah closure will idle about 270 workers, although some of that factory's work backlog will be moved Indiana at Great Dane's Brazil plant, which has about 1,000 workers.

The closure and layoffs imposed by the maker of both dry and refrigerated trailers come after its customers have been hard-hit by the struggling global economy.

In the last week those customers had implemented "tremendous cuts to their budgets," said Great Dane spokeswoman Brandie Fuller. She noted that one of Great Dane's biggest customers, shipping firm DHL, announced this month that it would close nearly all its U.S. locations.

"We're like the rest of the world right now, waiting for it to turn around because there's nothing much we can do," Fuller said.

The company's 50 percent staff reduction at its Terre Haute plant will take place Dec. 19, paring the plant's staff to about 115 workers, down from 450 in 2006, she said.

Plant workers received a layoff warning Monday advising them of the imminent job cuts.

The latest layoffs follows October's cut of 108 employees and the company's decision in February to lay off 45 workers.

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