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Cummins to lay off 400-plus workers in New York

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Columbus-based engine maker Cummins Inc. will idle at least 400 workers at a manufacturing facility in Jamestown, N.Y., because of a change in emission standards that will cut production from 500 engines a day to 100.

Cummins employs about 1,100 at the plant, making heavy-duty engines for semis. With new EPA guidelines set to take effect in January, truck manufacturers have been stocking up on older—and cheaper—models, said company spokesman Mark Land.

 “We always see this in the months leading up to a change,” he said.

The plant is operating at full capacity now, but business is expected to drop off after the first of the year. Land said the company hopes to recall the workers by fall as orders start flowing in.

“We are anticipating this will be temporary,” he said.

Cummins officials hope to avoid involuntary layoffs. The company is offering to maintain employees’ health benefits if they take voluntary leave during the down time. Volunteers also will be eligible for unemployment compensation. Cummins wants to reduce the Jamestown work force by 400 to 450 employees.

Because the new emission standards apply only to the heavy-duty engines made in New York, any impact on Cummins’ Indiana workers is expected to be minimal, Land said. Still, no decisions have been made yet about two facilities in Columbus that make components for the big engines.

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