North-central Iowa’s largest employer has now put a number to the layoffs they announced were on the way. Officials with Forest City-based Winnebago Industries say they’ll lay off up to 225 workers as the recreational vehicle industry continues to see a downturn.
Winnebago President Bob Olson confirmed the number during a conference call with industry analysts Wednesday morning to discuss the retirement of CEO Bruce Hertzke. Olson says the company postponed the downsizing as long as possible, but high fuel prices and low consumer confidence has dampened motor home purchases, and expectations are that 2008 sales will be flat.
The cut of 225 jobs would equal about seven percent of the current 3,200 in the Winnebago workforce. Winnebago’s last round of layoffs resulted in 170 losing their jobs, but most were hired back within 30 days.