Orion Bus switches to bi-weekly production schedule in hopes to avoid layoffs

By DAVE DELLECESE

ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Company officials at bus manufacturer Orion International, a brand of Daimler, hope that changes in their production schedule at the Oriskany site will help to avoid layoffs.

Starting in February, the company will begin a schedule that will shut down production every other week. Company Spokesman Bryan Allen, based in Greensboro, North Carolina said that employees will not be paid during those off-weeks, but will still continue to receive their benefits.

While Allen admitted the situation was not ideal, he said it was the best possible option in order to avoid layoffs and cause the least amount of impact to the company's employees.

Allen also said the current plan meant that any rumors of impending layoffs swirling around were false.

"There are no plans for any layoffs," Allen said. "Instead of layoffs, we opted, along with Union leaders, to go with the every other week production schedule."

The decision to shift the production schedule was a direct result to the industry's continued downturn, Allen said, in terms of the number of buses that cities needed for transportation.

While the change in the production schedule to an every-other-week basis is expected to begin in February, Allen said that the start date could be subject to change.

"We are trying to take a proactive approach, seeing that the market is not rebounding as quickly as one would hope.," Allen said. "There are orders out there."

Orion Bus in Oriskany employs roughly 500 people, Allen said.

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