Layoff notices were given to 130 employees at Saskatoon's Case-New Holland (CNH) manufacturing plant last week, the company confirmed Monday.
Ralph Traviati, CNH spokesperson for North America, said in an interview from his Illinois office the indefinite layoffs -- meaning if hourly positions open within the next year, laid-off employees may be called back -- are a result of the company adjusting its output to meet demand.
All affected employees work on an hourly basis. The layoffs have not yet taken affect.
Traviati wouldn't say how many employees work at the facility.
The CNH plant manufactures seeding and tillage equipment.
Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said poor economic and agricultural conditions in other parts of the world are likely affecting production at the Saskatoon pant.
"I think there has been some concern over weather conditions in some of the agricultural belts," Smith-Windsor said. "We still see relatively robust optimism within agriculture. Having said that, even Saskatchewan had some concerns about the weather in certain parts."
Smith-Windsor also said the layoffs are a sign that although Saskatoon is holding up well, the city is not immune to the economic slowdown.
"It just really emphasizes that the activity going on in Saskatchewan won't be able to continue in the long-term without the rest of the world showing a turnaround," he said.
The 71st Street CNH facility was originally home to the Summach family-run Flexi-Coil Ltd., which was best known for manufacturing air seeders. In 2000, Europe-based New Holland purchased Flexi-Coil and its production facility. New Holland later merged with United States-based Case IH.
In November 2006, the plant employed about 650 people.
In April 2008, the CNH plant hosted a provincial news conference where Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris -- who is also the minister responsible for immigration -- announced its target of 2,800 immigrant nominations for the 2008-09 year.
At the event, CNH was used as an example of a local company in need of at least 100 more employees.