(AP) - Airplane maker Cirrus Design Corp. says it is temporarily laying off about 165 people at its plant in Grand Forks and 335 people in its Duluth plant next month.
Cirrus Vice President Bill King said the workers will have reduced work schedules until Jan. 5.
"This will be part of a rolling furlough," King said. "What it boils down to, is we tried to track things through the plant and shut down parts of the production line.
"For instance, if a plane needs to be painted, we will paint it. We don't want to end up with a lot of 2008 models in 2009," he said.
Cirrus said the company, which is based in Duluth, will continue to cover benefits for the laid off workers.
"We want to mitigate pain," King said. "This is a logical throttling down and back up. This is not knee-jerk; it is very thoughtful."
The company said other Cirrus departments, including sales, customer service, engineering and development, will not be affected.
Cirrus laid off about 100 workers last month, with about 75 from Duluth and the rest from Grand Forks. President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouter said then that no more large-scale layoffs were planned.
King said the company will continue to employ about 1,105 people.
Cirrus is known for its line of small planes with parachutes. The Grand Forks plant makes parts for planes that are assembled in Duluth.
Last year, the Grand Forks fabrication plant turned out about 2,000 composite airplane parts a week for Cirrus' general aviation planes, and the company said it delivered about 16 planes a week to customers.
Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)