A softening recreational vehicle market has led officials for Winnebago Industries Inc. to scale back its work force at its plants in Forest City and Charles City, Iowa, according to a report in the Mason City Globe Gazette.
Winnebago officials released a statement Saturday (Aug. 13) saying the Forest City-based manufacturer will conduct what they call “a limited work force reduction.”
The exact number of layoffs, which Winnebago officials are for now terming temporary, will not be known for three to four weeks, company spokeswoman Kelli Harms said.
“We regularly adjust our production schedules to correspond with the demand of our products,” Harms read from a prepared statement. She said that those adjustments can include cutting or increasing the hours of operation, internal transfers and, “in some cases, unfortunately in this case, work force reduction.”
She said some layoffs had already taken place at Winnebago’s two largest plants and may occur at Winnebago’s other two plants, located in Hampton and Lorimor.
The paper reported that peak employment at Winnebago reached 4,200 last summer and included almost 3,200 workers at the company’s flagship plant in Forest City.
The industry’s motorized sector has been experiencing a soft retail market since late last year and Winnebago has not been immune from the industry downward trend. Harms said Winnebago has tried to control expenses by ceasing to replace workers who depart the company and by transferring some employees.
But layoffs were needed, company officials said, to keep expenses under control. Harms said the company would continue to keep a close eye on production, sales and orders and that workers who are laid off will “potentially be called back” if the market bounces back.