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DHL Express closing Calif. centers

November 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
More bad news on the economic front: German-owned DHL is closing its express delivery centers in the U.S., eliminating more than 9,000 jobs. Three hundred of those jobs are at the DHL center at March Air Reserve Base, between Riverside and Moreno Valley.It won't be long before you have one less option to ship something domestically. Fewer options mean fewer jobs: Almost 10,000 fewer nationwide.

As DHL gets out of the domestic delivery business altogether, the company is closing plants all across the United States. That includes the West Coast hub at March Air Reserve Base. All 300 workers will be laid off at the end of January, workers like Iona Retiz.

"Looking for another job and career, basically, everybody is," said Retiz. "Everything is lost, what can we do?"

Retiz and fellow worker Donna Cooper got the news Monday morning.

"It was pretty somber," said Cooper. "Everybody was just sitting there listening."

DHL Express Chief Executive Officer John Mullen said: "Making a decision that affects the lives of many dedicated employees is never easy, but this is the best path forward for our company."

Shop steward Don Radford is not happy about it, but says it makes sense. "The economy drives the whole shipping industry. Unfortunately, that's just the way it goes," said Radford.

The decision to close the DHL plant isn't only bad news for the 300 workers who will be losing their jobs; it also has a trickle-down effect to others who work in the area.

Mike Harril works for a uniform-delivery service. DHL will soon be on the long list of businesses that he's had to cross off his delivery schedule.

"Every business I lose, it's just more money right out of my pocket, and that's been quite a trend here in the last six months: I've lost quite a bit of business over here with the economy," said Herril. "With my route, I see all different types of economy, and ... it's affecting everything."

Experts say he's right, and DHL is just the latest example.


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