Ohio braces for possible DHL layoffs
About 8,000 job cuts reportedly may be announced tomorrow, when DHL's parent company releases its quarterly earnings report.
(CNN) -- A southern Ohio community is bracing for possible layoffs as DHL Express -- the largest employer in the area -- planned to announce its quarterly earnings report and restructuring details.
DHL's parent company, German-based Deutsche Post World Net, will announce plans for its U.S. operations to investors Monday, said spokesman Jonathan Baker. He did not respond to published reports that Deutsche Post has ordered roughly 8,000 layoffs at DHL's Wilmington hub.
But Ohio officials were scrambling over the weekend to offset possible job cuts to the community. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sent a letter Friday to DHL Chief Executive Officer John Mullen asking for immediate information about layoffs in the Wilmington area.
According to a statement from his office, Brown also called U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Howard Radzely "to seek immediate attention to a state of Ohio request for emergency funds to assist workers and communities affected by DHL's loss in business since announcing a proposed outsourcing agreement with UPS."
In May, Deutsche Post announced plans to outsource air services with UPS (UPS, Fortune 500). Brown says the plan would mean shutting down DHL's hub in Wilmington and cutting at least 8,000 jobs. Brown testified at two congressional hearings this year that centered on the proposal.
"Everybody is watching to see what happens tomorrow," said UPS spokesman Norman Black.
He added that UPS has been in negotiations with DHL to become its air carrier between U.S. airports, which would reduce costs because DHL currently uses two separate carriers for this task.
Wilmington Mayor David Razik said he had no details about the DHL announcement, but he was preparing for the worst.
"Given the state of the economy and the worldwide economic collapse, we know it can't be good news," he told CNN Sunday night. "Freight is down significantly, DHL is losing customers, they have laid off sales personnel in other locations. We really think it's certainly not going to be good for Wilmington."