Deal Between DHL and UP Impacts Entire Region
Jul 4, 2008
By Congressman Michael Turner
The proposed consolidation between DHL and UPS affects all of Southwest Ohio. Our community has come together to form a local Task Force to work on behalf of the Wilmington Hub and its workforce. First, we will explore all avenues to stop the deal between DHL and UPS. If the deal is successfully completed we will move into the second stage and work to bring impacted workers the funding and benefits they deserve. Finally, if DHL does leave Southwest Ohio to become a customer of UPS, our region will work together to find uses for the facility and work with our talented workforce and tremendous resources.
I was greatly concerned when I heard DHL’s announcement and immediately began working with local, state, and national leaders in order to prepare the best possible response for our region. The deal between UPS and DHL will clearly have an economic impact that will be felt throughout our region and our state. According to a report compiled by the Task Force, 45 of Ohio’s 88 counties have at least one person employed at the airpark in Wilmington. For six counties in the state, including Clinton and Highland Counties, the airpark serves as their largest overall employer. Clinton County is currently home to 2,358 people employed at the airpark and 1,583 employees reside in Highland County.
Working with other Members of Congress from Ohio and our two United States Senators, I have urged the Justice Department to investigate the deal between UPS and DHL for possible antitrust violations. I have also urged senior members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to hold hearings on the deal’s antitrust implications and what it will mean to the North American shipping market. I am hopeful that these efforts and others made in conjunction with local regional leaders will prevent DHL from leaving our community.
If, however, DHL does decide to back out on its stated commitments to our region, it will be important to provide as many resources as possible to help us through this period of transition. I recently hosted representatives from the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration. These officials detailed the resources we can bring to the Highland and Clinton County communities including grants to support business development and employee retraining. I have also spoken directly to the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce about the developing situation in our community and have told them that the potential job losses to our region are on the scale of a natural disaster. Leaders from our region have worked as a team to communicate the gravity of this situation to the federal government which is a critical step in getting our workers the assistance they deserve.
In addition, if the deal between DHL and UPS is completed, our region will work to find a new user for the airpark. Wilmington Mayor David Raizk and the Task Force have asked DHL, if they do end up leaving, to return the airpark to the community. The facility is currently the largest privately owned airport and is the only one to have its own private FAA tower. This, combined with our well-trained and dedicated workforce, positions our region well to find another use for the facility.
Our region has always shown that it is capable of achieving great things when it works as a team. There is no doubt that this is a critical moment for our region and that it is more important than ever to work together.