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JLG cuts to affect 375 area workers

August 02, 2008|By DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, PA. - The layoffs under way at JLG Industries facilities in McConnellsburg, Bedford, Pa., and Shippensburg, Pa., will affect about 375 people, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman.

A total of about 250 workers will be laid off at the McConnellsburg plant by the time layoffs are completed in late September, spokesman Justin Fleming said. About half that number were affected in the initial round of layoffs, he said.

While the company would not specify how many people are employed at the affected facilities, JLG officials put the McConnellsburg plant number at about 2,200 when Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell visited there two years ago to announce state support for an expansion project.

About 50 company employees and 50 staffing agency employees were laid off effective Friday at the Shippensburg facility, Fleming said. Another 25 employees are being laid off at the Bedford facility, he said.

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A Department of Labor and Industry Rapid Response Team held an informational meeting Tuesday with employees at the McConnellsburg plant, Fleming said.

Similar meetings were held Monday in Shippensburg and July 24 in Bedford, he said.

Meetings also will be scheduled prior to layoffs at the McConnellsburg facility slated for later this month and September, Fleming said.

"Rapid Response has also encouraged the company to file a trade petition with the U.S. Department of Labor," Fleming said. "Their workers could be entitled to some benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2002."

The act provides a number of programs for workers displaced from companies that have been hurt by trade imbalances, Fleming said. The services are available at Pennsylvania CareerLink job centers, such as the one in Chambersburg, Pa., he said.

Program benefits include re-employment assistance, training, a health-care coverage tax credit, and job search and relocation allowances, Fleming said.

Kirsten Skyba, vice president of global marketing, said Thursday that the layoffs will affect about 600 salaried and production workers, about 13 percent of the company's worldwide work force of about 4,500. The company also has temporarily shut down some production lines, she said.

More than 3,500 people are employed in JLG's North American operations, Skyba said.

Earlier in July, Skyba said the reason for the reductions was the slumping demand for construction rental equipment in North America and Europe. JLG also has production facilities in North Dakota, France and Belgium, she said.

JLG reported sales of $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2006. Oshkosh Truck Corp. of Wisconsin bought JLG in 2006 for more than $3 billion.

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