By Michael Gougis
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the extraordinary measures to check the spread of the deadly virus, American Motorcyclist Association officials have been forced to implement layoffs, reduced work schedules, and mandatory remote working environments, officials said.
In the May issue of American Motorcyclist, Rob Dingman, AMA President and CEO, said that because AMA-sanctioned events nationwide have been canceled and government relief was not forthcoming, the reduction in activity was unavoidable.
“Unfortunately, due to canceled events and other suspended activity combined with the failure of Congress to provide organizations like ours needed assistance, layoffs became unavoidable. A strategy to achieve a reduced work schedule was implemented for remaining staff,” Dingman wrote.
According to James Holter, AMA Chief Operating Officer, approximately 20% of the Pickerington, Ohio-based organization’s staff has been laid off, and 30-hour workweeks have been implemented for much of the remaining staff. Only about 40% of the organization’s employees are still working full time, he said.
The AMA is incorporated under the Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(4) code, which is different than the more widely-known 501(c)(3) status. The former type of organization can engage in more lobbying and advocacy, which is a primary activity of the AMA. Congress excluded 501(c)(4) non-profit agencies from Paycheck Protection Program, leaving the AMA without access to the funds made available through the legislation.
In his column, Dingman also issued a plea for AMA members to renew or extend their memberships, as AMA-sanctioned events are a key method by which the organization maintains the ranks of its membership.
“Given the AMA’s reliance on our organizers’ ability to hold events to grow the ranks of our membership, this crisis could have a devastating financial effect on our organization,” Dingman said. “There is no way to know what it will look like on the other side of this crisis, but I can assure you the threats to motorcycling will be greater than ever.”