Freightliner cuts union pay

| 10/11/2001

Freightliner's union workers voted last week to accept pay and benefits cuts to avoid more job cuts and plant closures. The news comes as the company prepares to announce restructuring plans later this month to cut an estimated $1.2 billion expected loss this year.

The company's 1,200 union employees at its Portland, OR, headquarters agreed to wage and benefit concessions to keep the truck- and parts-manufacturing plants open, according to The Oregonian. Union officials said they were told if they agreed to the concessions, they would miss this round of layoffs.

Freightliner continues to suffer from a yearlong depression in truck orders and is trying to re-negotiate with fleets its guaranteed buyback of used trucks, according to the newspaper. The company, which is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG, has already eliminated 1,200 jobs this year because of declining sales of heavy- and medium-duty trucks.

The company announced earlier this month it is also cutting costs with a 5-percent reduction in salaries and wages, increasing prescription drug co-pays and the elimination of 2001 year-end bonuses' for 13,100 nonunion employees.