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Associated Press, Published January 22 2009

Bobcat plans to extend six-week shutdown at Gwinner, Bismarck plants

WEST FARGO (AP) – The Bobcat company has told workers it plans to extend a six-week shutdown of its Gwinner and Bismarck plants.

Jeremy Swanson is the vice president of United Steelworkers union Local 560 in Gwinner. He says the company told union workers it will extend layoffs for two more weeks, until Feb. 16.

The West Fargo-based construction equipment manufacturer laid off about 2,000 employees at the two plants in mid-December.

The workers were due to return Feb. 2.

Corporate spokeswoman Nikki Bruce says the company will issue a statement later.

Swanson says Bobcat reports a lack of orders due to the global market slowdown. He says, “things aren’t picking up as fast as we anticipated.”

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