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ND wind tower manufacturer cutting back

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WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Wind tower manufacturer DMI Industries, which has a plant in Tulsa, Okla., says it's cutting back its work force, six months after announcing a major expansion.
   Employees at DMI's West Fargo plant were notified Sunday of the reductions. The company said production demands for 2009 are significantly lower than projected.
   Company president Stefan Nilsson said DMI would not comment on the extent of the cutbacks until all its employees were notified. He said a formal announcement was planned Monday.
   A letter to workers said they would get between three weeks and six weeks of severance pay.
   West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said he heard the news Sunday night from three DMI employees.
   "Quite frankly, I was shocked," Mattern said. "I thought they were bulletproof. I never guessed that they would be in trouble."
   Last June, the company announced it was adding as many as 75 employees to its West Fargo plant as part of a $20 million expansion to increase its production of wind towers. At the time, 350 people worked at the factory.
   "We all thought they were doing really, really well," Mattern said. "They're one of our cream-of-the-crop companies."
   DMI is a unit of Otter Tail Corp. of Fergus Falls, Minn., and in addition to the plant in Tulsa it als has one in Fort Erie, Ontario.
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