FOREST CITY, Iowa – Winnebago Industries is planning to resume production starting the week of April 13.
The manufacturer of recreational vehicles announced on March 23 it was temporarily suspending production in order to protect employees from the coronavirus. Now the company says that, depending on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and state and federal governments, work at various Winnebago Industries locations will resume on the following schedule:
Chris-Craft – week of April 13th
Specialty Vehicles – week of April 13th
Newmar – week of May 4th
Grand Design RV – week of May 4th
Winnebago Motorhomes – week of May 4th
Winnebago Towables – week of May 18th
As production restarts, employees will have to follow safety protocols both offsite and at Winnebago facilities. The company says it will also is take additional precautions to ensure the safety of its employees and that includes but is not limited to appropriate social distancing measures, strict sanitization practices, and daily employee health checks.
“The coronavirus pandemic continues to create a very challenging economic environment for the industries in which we compete. Our top priorities during these uncertain times remain the health of our employees and the financial stability of our Company,” says Winnebago Industries President and CEO Michael Happe. “Several weeks ago we announced a temporary suspension of most production activities. Following that decision, we have continued to monitor the health crisis and its related financial impact on our end customers, channel partners, and suppliers, so that we could determine a reasonable time to return to work safely. In addition, we have continued to take the financial management steps we believe are necessary to ensure the strength of our business long-term. Finally, despite these challenging times, we are confident the outdoor recreation industry will rebound in the future, and as such, we will carefully activate our leading brands and sound strategies against available demand as it gradually recovers.”
The company says employees working in business units with return dates after April 13 will not be extended wage payments during time off but will be provided medical and dental insurance benefits during this unpaid leave. Winnebago Industries says it will be paying the employee’s portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums through the end of April.
The company employed about 5,000 people making motor homes, travel trailers and boats in Iowa, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota and Florida before it suspended production due to the pandemic.