Burger Boat may reduce work force

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Burger Boat Company officials have told a Wisconsin state agency the company could lay off approximately 70 employees during the next six months.

By law, employers with 50 or more employees must give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing. Burger has about 230 employees.

"These layoffs will be in addition to a series of small layoffs that have occurred over the last several months," Jim Ruffolo, president, and Pete Bilski, vice president of human resources, wrote in a letter last week to the Department of Workforce Development, the Herald Times Reporter newspaper reports.

It stated the 147-year-old builder with a yard along the Manitowoc River "has been working hard to avoid any further layoffs, but business conditions are unsettled at this time."

Ruffolo told the newspaper the notice was filed "should a worst-case scenario play out."

"The company is positive and continues to seek new projects, which could minimize layoffs and make the notice a moot point," he said.

Ruffolo said Burger continues to invest in capital equipment, facilities and its employees through various training programs, including lean manufacturing initiatives.

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