GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Workers at Daimler’s truck manufacturing plants in Mount Holly and Cleveland, North Carolina, said they were told Monday morning that the company is cutting hundreds of jobs at each plant at the end of the week.
Daimler has taken over the plants that were run by Freightliner in Rowan and Gaston counties, and workers at the plant in Cleveland told Eyewitness News the announcement of job cuts came as a shock to many.
“I know that I'm one of the ones that's going to be laid off, so it's going to affect me,” said Andre Tucker, who began working at the plant in May 2014.
Tucker said he expects that Friday will be his last day on the job, but that the company is offering to pay the employees who lose their jobs through the middle of April.
“Right now probably the biggest thing is to figure out the next step as far as trying to find a new job,” Tucker, who has a wife and two children, said.
Daimler confirmed the job cuts late Monday, saying that 700 jobs would be cut in Mount Holly and 550 in Cleveland, due to a reduction in orders for their trucks.
The company told workers about the cuts in a series of town hall meetings. Jamall Cuthbertson, who has worked in the plant in Cleveland for about 20 years, said it was a tough day.
“Just some sad people this morning. It's just terrible right now,” he said.
The pain reaches far past the company’s fence. Daimler is one of the biggest employers in Rowan County and laid off almost 900 employees in January. You don’t have to go any farther than the convenience store across the highway to find the impact of the layoffs.
“Everybody around here's been hurting, and it's going to hurt even more,” said Bibi Bacchus, who runs the register there.
The local United Way held a workshop and job fair for employees laid off in January, and may have to repeat it for this round of workers.
But the man who heads up economic development in Rowan County says the job picture is still bright.
“We are starting to diversify and we do have a number of employers across sectors that are looking to add people,” Robert Van Geons said.
Read the statement from Daimler Trucks:
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