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Bush Hog extends down time two more weeks

Bush Hog LLC extended what was originally a two-week furlough until Jan. 29.

Chicago-based CC Industries Inc., which owns the company, plans to hire financial advisors within the week, said Mel Cohen, vice president of corporate planning and development for the company.

According to a press release, the financial advisors will assist the CC Industries in a variety of capacities, including making Bush Hog more attractive to potential buyers.

During a meeting last week, employees were instructed to call a phone number on Jan. 15 regarding their return to work on Jan. 19.

A recording stated all employees currently off work will remain off work, and employees rotating with others in their department should contact their manager to determine their schedule.

It also stated employees could call the number on Jan. 29 regarding a potential schedule for Feb. 2.

While the furlough has not hit hard just yet, there is concern among workers and their families that life could get tough during the next month.

Lisa Giles, whose husband has worked in Bush Hog’s machine shop for 22 years, said many employees have vacation time built up, which they can use.

“The next two weeks, everybody’s going to be pretty much covered,” Giles said. “But after that, people are going to be forced to draw unemployment, and it’s going to be a half or third of their regular salary. It’s not only going to affect us personally, but it’s going to affect the community.”

About 600 people work at Bush Hog’s Selma plant, which has about 700,000 square feet of manufacturing space and exceeds $100 million in annual sales.

The company produces front-end loaders, zero-turn mowers and backhoes at plants across the nation.