Bat maker says loan resulted in return of furloughed workers

Sports

In this April 7, 2020, photo provided by Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, a “Flatten the Curve” banner adorns the 120-foot Big Bat outside Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Ky., in an effort to help spread the “stay healthy at home” message and bring down the number of COVID-19 cases. (Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory via AP)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats says it put 171 furloughed employees back on the payroll after receiving a loan from a government program aimed at helping small businesses.

Hillerich & Bradsby Co. resumed production at its wood bat factory in Louisville on Monday as parts of Kentucky’s economy reopened after weeks of shutdowns because of the coronavirus outbreak. The bat factory had been idled for nearly two months amid the global pandemic.

The company did not disclose the amount of the loan it received under the Paycheck Protection Program. But it said the cash infusion was instrumental in restoring all 171 furloughed employees — or about 90% of its work force — to the payroll last week.

“Ending furloughs and putting everyone back on payroll was made possible when H&B received funds from the PPP program,” Hillerich & Bradsby spokesman Rick Redman said in a statement Tuesday.

Many of the furloughed employees have returned to work, including several dozen who work in the factory, Redman said. Others are being phased back into various operations, he said. Thirty-eight timber division employees in Pennsylvania also returned to work Monday, according to Redman.

The company said it resumed bat production at the Louisville plant with new health and safety protocols that include twice-daily temperature checks and masks for its employees and social distancing standards at work stations and in the break room.

Workers started filling orders for some big leaguers.

Bat production resumed the same day that Major League Baseball owners approved making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans. An agreement with the players’ association is needed.

H&B, a family-owned business, is the wood bat manufacturing partner for Wilson Sporting Goods, which purchased the famed Louisville Slugger brand from H&B in 2015.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.