Perry firm reducing work force

Wednesday, May 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Perry-AP) -- A nearly century-old Perry company is cutting its work force as the demand for its ditch digging machines falls.

Charles Machine Works is best known as DitchWitch. The company has dismissed about 75 part-time and temporary employees over the past ten days.

Company spokesman Kurt Andrews says some full-time employees will be offered an early retirement package beginning today. Andrews says it's not yet known if full-time employees will be laid off.

He says overtime has been eliminated at the factory, although the plant is still operating two shifts.

The company began in 1903 and makes trenching machines for sales around the world. There are currently about 16-hundred employees at the plant, down from about 17-hundred a year ago.