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Originally published Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Genie Industries cuts nearly 500 jobs

Genie Industries, a major manufacturer of construction equipment based in Redmond, on Wednesday laid off nearly 500 workers in Washington amid falling demand for its products.

Seattle Times business reporter; Seattle Times business reporter

Genie Industries, a major manufacturer of construction equipment based in Redmond, on Wednesday laid off nearly 500 workers in Washington amid falling demand for its products.

The company, a unit of Westport, Conn.-based Terex, cut about 375 jobs in Redmond, roughly 16 percent of its workforce there. It also eliminated about 100 of 650 jobs at its Moses Lake plant.

Genie said in a statement that "the twin challenges of a global economic slowdown combined with a near freeze in the credit markets" are curtailing demand from the construction industry and others.

The company said the cuts are "necessary given the challenging business climate our industry is experiencing."

Before the layoffs, Genie Industries employed 5,000 people globally. About 18 percent of that work force has been cut, said spokeswoman Melinda Zimmerman-Smith.

Genie's Redmond and Moses Lake plants, which produce aerial lifts, articulating booms and scissor lifts, employed about 3,050 people before Wednesday's layoffs.

Terex said Wednesday its net income for the third quarter dropped about 38 percent to $94 million.

Terex's Aerial Work Platform segment, of which Genie Industries is a part, saw its sales decline 9 percent to $514 million in the third quarter amid a slowdown in construction activity in North America and Western Europe.

The company's outlook is also dim.

Terex Chief Executive Ron DeFeo said the company expects sales in its AWP segment to fall 30 to 40 percent for the next 12 months.

Terex also plans sweeping cuts across its other segments, which include roadbuilding and mining.

In July, Genie eliminated most temporary positions and laid off 120 full-time workers, including some in Redmond and Moses Lake.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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