Bennington Company Slows Down Because Of Japan Crisis

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(Host) The still-unfolding crisis in Japan is having an effect on a Bennington manufacturer that makes parts for Japanese automakers.

NSK Steering Systems America makes steering columns and related parts for Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Subaru.

NSK heard from Honda this week that the Japanese company is cutting production in half for the next two weeks.

Plant officials say 20 temporary workers were laid off, and some full time workers were given the option of taking the rest of this week off.

Greg Laurin is the plant’s human resource manager. He says Honda didn’t give the exact reason for the slowdown, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see more such announcements.

(Laurin) "We’ve forewarned our employees, we’re looking at a situation in the next couple weeks that’s unpredictable. We’re going to do our best to keep everything running."

(Host) Laurin says production of Honda parts will resume on Monday.

NSK currently has about 265 workers in its Bennington plant. That number is down from about 550 before the recession hit in 2008. The company also has a plant in Tennessee.

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