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Business and Economy

New Balance Furloughs Workers, Cuts Salaries Amid Coronavirus Impact

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo, a pair of athletic shoes designed for the military are laced up at a New Balance factory in Norridgewock, Maine.

Athletic footwear manufacturer New Balance, which has factories in Norridgewock, Norway and Showhegan, has announced it's furloughing some of its workers due to the economic impact of COVID-19. The company says it's also reducing salaries of some of its senior-level associates.

In recent weeks New Balance has announced temporary closures of it's corporate offices, company-owned retail locations and some manufacturing facilities.  The furloughs affect some of the retail workers, as well as a portion of the factory and office staff.

New Balance says it will maintain existing health care benefits, with 100 percent of premiums paid by the company.

In addition, the company says it's ramping up production of general use face masks in both its Lawrence, Massachusetts and Norridgewock, Maine factories. New Balance estimates it can produce 100,000 face masks a week.

Earlier this week Westbrook-based veterinary diagnostic testing  company Idexx, which employs around 3000 people in Maine,  imposed temporary tiered salary reductions, most 10 percent,  with a 30 percent drop for the CEO and 20 percent for other senior management.