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Grove to lay off 210 workers

January 22, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

SHADY GROVE, Pa. - Grove Worldwide officials said Thursday that 210 production workers will be laid off next week because of a slowdown in orders.

Grove executives said in December that layoffs were possible in January if business didn't improve. At the time they said as many as 330 workers could be affected.

"The decline in orders that we were experiencing at the end of last year prompted us to notify our employees in December of a potential layoff this month," said Jeffry Bust, president and chief operating officer.

"We have seen some improvements in our orders but they are still not sufficient to maintain current staffing levels," he said.

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Donald Mallo, senior vice president for human resources, said the layoffs will be based on seniority. Affected employees will be told Thursday. The layoffs take effect on Friday, he said.

This is the second job cut at Grove since August when 225 workers, production and salaried, were sent home on what was described as a permanent layoff.

That layoff came shortly after new owners took over the company. Many top executives lost their jobs in the ownership shift.

Grove was sold last year for $605 million to Keystone Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas, investment firm.

Next week's cuts will affect workers in manufacturing and operations support areas.

Mallo said a few workers with critical skills or maintenance personnel could be called back to work depending on plant needs.

He said he didn't know if next week's layoffs will be permanent.

"We hope to call them all back," he said.

Grove, with more than 2,500 workers, is Franklin County's largest employer.

The company is inviting representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor's Unemployment Division and the Cumberland Valley Job Center to the plant next Thursday and Friday to help affected employees sign up for jobless benefits and seek new jobs or job training, Mallo said.

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