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Freightliner to recall 650 workers

By Mark Wineka

Freightliner is sending out recall notices to approximately 650 workers who were laid off in June and will reestablish a second shift at its Cleveland truck manufacturing plant.

Amy Sills, corporate communications head for Daimler Trucks North America, said Monday afternoon the employees will report back to work Aug.18 for a couple of weeks of orientation and training.

A “partial second shift” will then be reinstated effective Sept. 2.

“Although the North American commercial vehicle industry remains depressed across all market segments, the recall reflects recent increases in customer orders for the new Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia truck manufactured at the Cleveland plant,” Sills said.

The reinstatement of the second shift will bring total employment at the Cleveland facility to 1,985, Sills added.

With that workforce, the Freightliner plant is Rowan County’s third largest employer behind Rowan-Salisbury Schools and Food Lion.

In June, Freightliner laid off roughly 1,500 workers — some with more than 10 years experience — and eliminated the second shift.

Those layoffs followed 1,180 workers who were laid off when the third shift was cut April 1, 2007.

Debbie Davis, head of the the Employment Security Commission’s JobLink Center in Salisbury, confirmed Monday her office has been hearing from some laid-off Freightliner employees who said they have been recalled.

A person at United Auto Workers Local 3520 also confirmed the recall of some workers.

Some notices had yet to be delivered Monday. Employees have generally been laid off and called back based on seniority.

After the most recent Freightliner layoffs, Rowan County’s unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent in June.


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