Formula/Thunderbird builder reduces work force

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Powerboat manufacturer Porter Inc., which builds Formula/Thunderbird boats, laid off 225 people, according to a notice filed with Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development.

In its filing, Porter said the action is expected to be temporary, though longer than six months, because of the downturn in boat sales projected to last through this year.

While 60 days notice of layoffs may be required under federal law, “Porter Inc. could not provide such notice that far in advance due to the unforeseeable business circumstances regarding the unanticipated and dramatic major downturn in the national and global economies which have affected our business,” the notice states.

“In particular, the unprecedented freezing up of credit on both the retail and wholesale sides of the boat industry has drastically affected boat sales and shipments now and in the months ahead.”

According to the notice, the majority of the layoffs took place prior to Feb. 27, with production employees being the majority of those affected.

A call placed to the company this morning was not immediately returned.

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