2009-05-21 / Front Page

More Layoffs, Paycuts, Furloughs At JLG

100 nonproduction workers lose jobs
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

The economic turndown that has stalled construction in this country and abroad forced JLG Industries last week to shed another 100 jobs and cut pay at its North American facilites.

The latest round of layoffs affects administrative and nonproduction workers and brings the total number of workers who have lost their jobs since JLG began downsizing in July 2008 to 1,670 worldwide, according to Ann Stawski, vice president of marketing communications at JLG parent company Oshkosh Corp.

Stawski said on Monday that to date 861 workers have been laid off at JLG's McConnellsburg plant and 65 at its Bedford facility. JLG's total workforce reduction in North America, she said, amounts to just over 50 percent.

The layoffs are considered permanent, Stawski said.

Meanwhile, JLG's remaining North American white-collar workers were told that effective next pay period their salaries would be cut by 4 percent. The pay cut, which was announced at the time of last week's layoffs, follows a 3 percent cut in pay for white-collar workers that took effect in mid-March

The same workers were also told that in addition to the three mandatory weeklong furloughs announced previously, five more furlough weeks would be scheduled: another week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, two weeks in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, which begins Oct. 1, and two more in 2010's second quarter, beginning January 1, 2010.

The global recession has had a significant impact on Oshkosh Corp., especially its access equipment segment (JLG). In an earnings statement released for the quarter ending March 31, the Wisconsin-based company reported that JLG incurred an operating loss of $49.1 million on sales that plunged 69 percent to $249.2 million from the prior year.

Pay cuts and furloughs have affected all of Oshkosh North Amercian segments (defense, fire and emergency, commercial, as well as access equipment), Stawski said, "across the board."

To survive what she characterizes as the "perfect storm" - the combined effects of a global credit crunch, the banking crisis and a stagnant construction industry - Stawski said that in addition to layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs, JLG has reduced costs in all other areas of its operation, including travel and entertainment. The company, she added, continues also to capitalize on all material price opportunities.

Staying closely aligned with sales is key to JLG's management of cost-reduction measurements. "We really try to stay focused on our products and what are numbers are," said Stawski, all the while working hard to maintain the company's viability and position as a leader in the equipment industry.

"We remain hopeful that the economic stimulus will open up areas in construction," Stawski said.

JLG's North America facilities include Orville, Ohio, and Oakes, N.D., in addition to locally operated plants at Bedford, Shippensburg and Mc- Connellsburg.

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