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Freightliner to cut nearly 4,000 jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. — DaimlerChrysler's Freightliner Corp. will cut 3,745 jobs at its U.S. and Canadian plants in anticipation of a 25 percent decrease in heavy-duty truck sales, the company said Monday.

The Portland-based Freightliner, North America's largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer, said it expects a slowdown in the sales of medium-duty trucks as well.

Freightliner currently employs 20,141 people across North America.

The company said it will discontinue its third shift at factories in Portland; Cleveland, N.C.; Mt. Holly, N.C.; and St. Thomas, Ontario, and stop weekend shifts in Gastonia, N.C.

On July 26, DaimlerChrysler said it planned to slash costs by $5.7 billion during the next three years to boost profits.

The layoffs will take place Oct. 20 in the U.S. facilities and Dec. 4 in the St. Thomas plant.

The company's Portland and Cleveland, N.C. plants make Freightliner's heavy-duty trucks. The Mt. Holly, N.C., plants make Freightliner medium-duty trucks. The St. Thomas location produces the company's Sterling-brand heavy- and medium-duty trucks.

A total of 770 Portland-based workers will lose their jobs, 669 at the truck plant and 101 at the parts plant.

Other layoffs are as follows:

--Cleveland, N.C., 1,302 workers, truck plant.

--Mt. Holly, N.C., 825 workers, truck plant.

--Gastonia, N.C., 154 workers, parts plant.

--St. Thomas, Ontario, 692 workers, truck plant.

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