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UPDATED: 550 to be laid off at Cleveland Daimler plant

CLEVELAND — Daimler’s manufacturing plant in Rowan on Monday announced a second round of layoffs that will bring the company close to a job minimum set by county commissioners.

In a news release, Daimler said it would lay off 550 employees in Cleveland and another 700 in Mt. Holly. The Cleveland plant will go from 2,150 employees to about 1,600 working one shift per day. That’s just 100 people more than the 1,500 county commissioners require for the company to receive nearly $1 million in tax incentives approved in November. At the Mt. Holly Plant in Gaston County, the workforce will be reduced from about 2,150 to 1,450 people working two shifts per day, according to a news release.

Daimler’s Cleveland plant reportedly held a town hall meeting on Monday morning to inform employees of the decision. The last day of work for employees in Cleveland and Mt. Holly will be Friday. Daimler will pay the 550 in Cleveland for 60 days at regular pay rate instead of giving 60 days notice. The company will allow laid off employees to seek other employment during the 60 days.

Former employees and family members of current employees told the Salisbury Post the layoffs include people who started later than Aug. 2002.

As of Monday afternoon, Daimler had not submitted a notice required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. On Monday Afternoon, NC Department of Commerce spokesman David Rhoades said he was unable to find a WARN notice with a recent date. The latest notice was from early January, when an initial round of layoffs occurred.

The company in January announced nearly 1,000 people would be laid off. The massive layoffs stoked anger among some in the Cleveland plant. Some employees quit before the last day. As a result, the employees who quit weren’t included in the layoffs and didn’t receive the 60 days of pay required by the WARN Act.

When asked Monday about the layoffs, Cleveland Plant Manager Henning Bruns declined to comment about whether the company announced layoffs. He said all communications about the matter would have to come from the company’s corporate office. Local union president Corey Hill didn’t return repeated requests for comment about the second round of layoffs.

This story will be updated as more information is available. 

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