Alliance Laundry Systems will furlough an unspecified portion of its workforce in Ripon and beyond as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

   According to spokesperson Randy Radtke, “In the interests of the safety of our employees, and a weakening in global demand because of the current COVID-19 crisis, Alliance Laundry Systems will be implementing a two-week pause in production at our Ripon, Wis., and Czech Republic facilities April 4 to 17. All other business-critical functions remain operational.”

   The closure is not a reaction to a positive test for COVID-19 among its workforce; thus far, according to Radtke, none have tested positive.

   The Ripon plant is expected to reopen Monday, April 20, while the Czech plant will reopen Wednesday, April 22.

   With roughly 1,900 employees in Ripon and about 3,000 worldwide, the maker of commercial and residential laundry equipment continues to be, by far, the largest employer in the city of Ripon.

   Employees will be eligible for unemployment during the work stoppage, while Alliance will continue to pay for benefits for those employees.

   *** Update: Radtke later emailed to clarify the statement about benefits, revising a previous statement: "Employees keep their benefits, we are not paying for them. So it’s basically status quo, we pay our part and employee pays their normal premium."

Read the full story in the April 2, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.