Cummins recalling more workers to Indiana engine plant

Enginemaker Cummins Inc. is temporarily adding a second production shift at its MidRange Engine Plant south of Columbus, recalling as many as 270 workers who had been laid off or transferred to other facilities when it was idled in May.

When the new shift starts Oct. 19, the plant will employ about 600 hourly workers—close to pre-shutdown staffing levels, said Cummins spokesman Mark Land.

The facility, which makes engines for the Dodge Ram turbo diesel pickup truck, closed in May after Chrysler Corp. stopped vehicle production during its bankruptcy proceedings. More than 300 workers were called back when the plant reopened in July.

Cummins is adding the second shift to fulfill a temporary increase in orders for the 2010 Ram pickup. Land said Chrysler and other automakers are building an inventory after slowing production over the summer.

“Obviously, this is good news. … It’s nice to have folks back at work,” Land said. “But it’s still very bumpy. We still see some ups and downs ahead.”

Employees have been told to plan to work through the end of the year, he said.

At its peak, the plant in Walesboro employed as many as 900 workers, Land said, but production had slowed in recent years.

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