Bobcat Shutting Down North Dakota Plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Bobcat Co. workers have been told production will end Dec. 23 at the company's Bismarck plant.

Bobcat, which makes skid steer loaders and other light construction equipment, sent notices to its hourly workers this week. Spokeswoman Laura Ness Owens said the plant always has closed from Dec. 24 through the end of the year, so the ending date was not unexpected.

Bobcat announced in September that it would eliminate 490 jobs in Bismarck. It plans to send 330 jobs to its equipment plant in Gwinner, 15 jobs to its attachments facility in Litchfield, Minn., and 60 jobs to a new facility that will produce valves and cylinders in Wahpeton.

Jeremy Bauer is president of the United Steel Workers local representing the Bismarck plant. He said he believes most workers will "ride out the winter on unemployment" and hope for hiring to pick up in the spring.

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