Over 100 laid off at Skyjack

16 May 2008

Over 100 employees have been laid off from Skyjack's Guelph plant. Both office and production employees who work on the Canadian company's rough terrain scissor line are affected.

Speaking to Access International at UK customer event, Access Days, Ken McDougall, president of Skyjack said that the situation was just a temporary blip resulting from a slowdown in the US economy and a lowered demand for the rough terrain scissors.

There are plans to bring outsourced work back into the company and some employees can be accommodated in other parts of the business. Mr McDougall is hopeful that, when the recently acquired Volvo telehandler and rough terrain forklift truck business is fully integrated into Skyjack; most of the employees currently laid off will be back with the company.

First quarter results for the Industrial Division of Linamar, which comprises of the Skyjack business, showed sales had remained stable from last year: $130.4 million this year compared to $129.6 million in 2007. Operating earnings were, however, lower: $18.8 million against $23.7 million last year. This is chiefly attributed to the costs of developing and introducing the new boom and telehandler products.

Mr McDougall is confident that being able to offer a full range of access solutions will place Skyjack in a strong position in the coming year, "This is just a temporary situation," he said "definitely not a trend."

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