More than 600 union jobs, including 425 IAM workers of Local 1005, are off the chopping block at Daimler Trucks NA in Portland, OR.
The company reversed plans to close its truck manufacturing plant after signing a new contract with the U.S. Army. Daimler said it would keep the facility open to produce Western Star trucks and military vehicles.
Last year, Daimler announced it would close the Portland facility and shift work to Mexico as part of its “Global Excellence” strategy. However, the company recently announced the Army has awarded it a $377 million contract to produce military vehicles. The new Army contract, coupled with the costs to shut down the Portland facility caused the company to reconsider its decision.
“Management had not anticipated significant costs associated with closing the Portland facility, including the scope of obligations involving retirement,” said IAM District 24 Business Representative Joe Kear. “To their credit, when these became clear, they also looked at other benefits to keeping the Portland plant operating and decided to change course. It is a good decision.” Kear credits the high quality of workmanship and dedication of Local 1005 members who work at the plant as a big part of the benefits of staying in Portland.
“Daimler’s decision to keep jobs in Oregon is a good decision for our highly-skilled and extremely dedicated members, as well as the Portland area,” said Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Manufacturing jobs are the key to healthy communities and governments at all levels should be supporting reforms that encourage companies to keep jobs in North America.”