CMI Terex Corp. has confirmed the layoffs of 146 employees at its Oklahoma City heavy-equipment plant.
Art Kaplan, president of Terex Roadbuilding Group, said 127 production employees and 19 administrative workers have been laid off at the factory near I-40 and Morgan Road. About 500 employees remain at the plant.
CMI Terex eliminated the plant's second shift, with workers laid off in order of seniority. Most who lost their jobs had less than 10 years of service at the factory. Laid-off employees were offered between four and eight weeks of severance pay, as well as outplacement help in finding jobs.
"These are certainly challenging economic times for our nation and our company," stated a memo sent to CMI employees earlier this week. "In facing these challenges, CMI has made the very difficult and unfortunate decision that it must restructure several areas of the company, including eliminating the second shift."
"The company is definitely going to survive and remain in Oklahoma City," Kaplan said. "This business goes in cycles. The war has emotionally drained things, but bigger fact is the government is moving very slowly on funding for the roads program."
Kaplan said contractors have been unwilling to spend on the kind of heavy road-building equipment that CMI Terex makes. Many in the industry are waiting for Congress to renew the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
"The uncertainty in funding has created the deferral of a lot of projects out there," Kaplan said. "States are holding off on building roads because they need that federal match. Many contractors aren't making the commitment to buy equipment until they know what will happen."