Germany's Daimler idles 18,000 truck workers for several months
Daimler, the world's leading heavy truck maker, has been hit by weak demand and orders continue to fall.Frankfurt -- Germany's Daimler auto group will lay off 18,000 workers at its German truck plants for several months, a statement said on Wednesday.
Daimler said four Mercedes-Benz plants were concerned by the layoffs and the measures would take effect by Easter (April 12), or May at the latest and run until the end of summer vacations, which is in late August.
The company declined to give details on how the measures would take effect or on production cutback targets.
That would be decided site by site with workers' representatives, a Daimler spokeswoman said.
Daimler, the world's leading heavy truck maker, has been hit by weak demand and orders continue to fall, it said in a statement.
The latest available figures put Daimler's workforce in the heavy truck division at around 30,000.
Daimler has already implemented partial layoffs of around 50,000 workers in German auto production that would last until June, the spokeswoman said.
A plan to compensate workers affected by temporary layoffs was recently extended in Germany as part of the government's overall economic stimulus plan aimed at avoiding outright firings.
Several large groups have announced temporary layoffs since.
On Wednesday, the troubled computer chip maker Infineon said partial layoffs would affect a total of about 9,000 workers in Germany.
The German auto parts group Continental said Wednesday that it would close two tyre plants, one in Germany and one in France, that employed almost 1,900 workers.
And the economy ministry said orders for industrial goods had fallen by 8.0 percent in January from December, with export orders showing the biggest drop.
On a 12-month basis, German industrial orders have now shed 35 percent, which UniCredit economist Alexander Koch termed "a new record rate of decline."