Burger Boat Company officials have told the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that they could lay off approximately 70 employees during the next six months.
Burger Boat Company has around 230 employees and by law, Employers with 50 or more employees must, give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing.
“These layoffs will be in addition to a series of small layoffs that have occurred over the last several months,” Jim Ruffolo, president, and Pete Bilski, vice president of human resources, wrote in a letter last week to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, according to the Herald Times Reporter newspaper.
It stated that the company “has been working hard to avoid any further layoffs, but business conditions are unsettled at this time.”
Workers to be cut from the 147-year-old builder with a yard along the Manitowoc River may include carpenters, finishers, metal workers, mechanics, fluid power technicians, pipefitters, electricians and office administration employees
President of Burger Boat Company Jim Ruffolo, told the newspaper the notice was filed “should a worst-case scenario play out.”
“The company is positive and continues to seek new projects, which could minimize layoffs and make the notice a moot point,” he said.
Ruffolo said Burger Boat continues to invest heavily in capital equipment, facilities and its employees through various training programs, including “lean” manufacturing initiatives.
He said he has never felt better about the company as an organization.
“I’m confident we are well positioned to continue as a strong company and anticipate this being a brief downturn,” Ruffolo said.
Burger Boat is completing two tri-deck motor yachts of 142 and 140 feet. The 140′ (43.3m) trideck motor yacht Sea Owl by Burger Boats is expected to be launched shortly during a private ceremony into the Manitowoc River followed by sea trials on Lake Michigan. Burger Boat Hull 508, a 140ft superyacht which is yet to be named is scheduled to depart Manitowoc in October following sea trials.
The Burger Boat Company produces custom private motor yachts from 100′ (30m) – 200′ (60m) in size. Established in the mid 1800s, Burger yachts “blend the rich heritage of experienced yacht building with the latest technologies and systems available in the marketplace”. Designing and building custom motor yachts is the core business of Burger and creating a vision and producing a masterpiece is the goal.