2008-11-27 / Front Page

500 More Workers Lose Jobs At JLG

Staggered layoff takes place through January
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

JLG Industries has given up an additional 500 employees worldwide to the worsening global economic slowdown. The staggered layoff began Nov. 14 and will continue through January and affects workers across the board, including production and administrative staff, in all of the access equipment manufacturer's facilities.

JLG spokesperson Kirsten Skyba, vice president of global marketing, could not say how many workers are losing their jobs at the McConnellsburg plant, but Justin Fleming, a spokesperson for the state Department of Labor & Industry, said Friday that the company had told the state's Rapid Response Team coordinator 146 employees here would go.

Fleming said another 111 workers at JLG's Shippensburg operation and a dozen at its Bedford facility would also lose their jobs in this downsizing, the third since the company announced in July it would cut its workforce by 600.

Another 220 employees lost their jobs in a second downsizing that ended last month.

In all, 1,400, or 31 percent, of JLG workers worldwide have been laid off, said Skyba, who characterized the past year at JLG as "challenging."

Craig Paylor, JLG president and executive vice president of Oshkosh Corp., JLG's parent company, said in a released statement, "Economic conditions have continued to their unprecedented deterioration since mid-September, leading construction markets to intensify their slide over the past two months. We've seen a particularly strong downturn in Europe, which has now followed the slowdown in North America."

Financial instability, credit availability and continued weak construction have resulted, Paylor said, in lower demand for JLG's products around the world.

"This workforce reduction was unavoidable, but that doesn't make the decision to downsize any easier," Paylor said.

"The downturn has hit all of our products and, as a result, all of our facilities and locations," Skyba said. She said that, in general, the three layoffs have "largely eliminated our second and third shifts."

Fleming said the Rapid Response Team will work with human resources at JLG to determine the schedule of layoffs in this third round of downsizing and then hold a meeting in conjunction with the local CareerLink office to provide displaced JLG workers with information about unemployment compensation,

retraining, education opportunities,

job search activities and crisis

counseling. Several such meetings

have taken place at the American Legion since JLG began laying off workers in July.

Joyce Lynch, career placement specialist at the McConnellsburg office of the Huntingdon County CareerLink, said Friday that no Rapid Response Team meeting had been scheduled as of yet, but she hoped that one would be held before Christmas.

"We're getting a lot more calls and a lot more people from JLG coming in looking for help," Lynch said.

The McConnellsburg CareerLink office is located at 116 West Market Street, telephone 485-5131. Career- Link services are available to displaced workers, the unemployed and employed.

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