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Bush Hog suspends production temporarily

Employees at Bush Hog in Selma were notified Monday that they’ll have a furlough for about 10 days.

Employees from the first shift called reporters at The Selma Times-Journal to report the event. However, shortly before noon, a secretary at the plant told a reporter with The Times-Journal that nobody was available to speak with him.

Officials have said they will talk when they are prepared, she said.

Wayne Vardaman, executive director of the Selma & Dallas County Economic Development Authority, said he had heard similar rumors Monday morning and called the plant to see what had happened.

Vardaman said James Bearden, one of the officials at the plant, told him workers are on a furlough, which means a lay-off with a definite return date.

Bush Hog, which manufactures loaders, backhoes, rotary cutters and mowers, turf and landscape tools and utility vehicles, has experienced retail slowdowns just as other manufacturers across the country. When the inventory doesn’t move out as expected, then production has to slow, Vardaman said. This allows for adjustment of the inventory.

Some employees confirmed they had received letters from Bush Hog, telling them when to return and giving them a telephone number to call to confirm the return-to-work date. No employee would share the contents of that letter with The Times-Journal.