Daimler layoffs hitting Oregon plant

Jason Cannon

February 14, 2013

Daimler Trucks North America will lay off 250 union production workers at its Swan Island truck plant next month as part of a 1,300-worker downsizing throughout North America, nwlaborpress.org reported.

Last month, the company announced plans to potentially cut 1,300 jobs and filed paperwork with the state of North Carolina citing a potential layoff of 1,200 of the company’s workers in that state’s three Freightliner facilities.

Joe Kear, business representative of Machinists Lodge 1005, told the website the layoffs do not impact managers, supervisors, engineers, support staff, or nearly 2,000 nonunion white-collar workers at Daimler’s Portland headquarters,.

The Swan Island site makes Western Star trucks.

Hardest hit by the layoffs is Machinists Lodge 1005, which the website reported will lose 180 members. Teamsters Local 305 will lose 44 members; Sign Painters and Paint Makers Local 1094 will lose 25 members; and Service Employees Local 49 will lose four members. For the Machinists Union, that means all employees hired on or after June 1, 2011, will be laid off. For Painters Local 1094, all employees hired on or after Sept. 6, 1994, will be laid off. All Teamsters Local 305 employees hired on or after Nov. 14, 2011 will be laid off. And all Service Employees Local 49 members hired on or after Feb. 23, 1998, will be laid off. Workers will have four years of call-back rights.

Daimler actually targeted the Swan Island site for closure in 2008 but aborted those plans largely due to potential financial penalties from affiliated unions.

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