Terex cranes suddenly closes Waverly Plant, cutting 175 jobs

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WAVERLY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Terex suddenly shut down its crane factory in Waverly Tuesday, leaving roughly 175 workers wondering what's next.

The company announced Tuesday it is expanding its crane production facility in Oklahoma City and, as a result, closing the Waverly operation effective immediately. The company cited costs for the reason to consolidate operations in Oklahoma City, saying it is centrally located to optimize transportation of raw materials and finished products. It is also within driving distance of the shipping hub of Houston for import and export capabilities.

Kent Fisher worked at the Terex Plant for more than 30 years. He says he never expected to leave with such short notice.

"And they told us if you have any tool boxes or any stuff you have to make an appointment to go get it," Fisher said.

Fisher says it's common for rumors to spread around the plant about downsizing or closing. But until Tuesday, workers had not heard anything official.

"The paint line had broken down and they didn't fix nothing so we figured something was going on. Things were breaking hoists were breaking and they weren't repairing it," Fisher said.

Fisher says the plant closure will affect the entire community, not just those out of the job. Some in town are concerned about people leaving the city to find other jobs.

In a statement, Terex Corporate said "Moving Waverly product lines to our Oklahoma City location is consistent with our continuing strategy to win the market place by aligning our costs with market demands."

A Waverly City official says the city learned of the closure at 3:00 pm Tuesday. The official says the company laid off 100 workers immediately and will phase out another 75 in the coming weeks. Terex plans to keep its accounting offices in Waverly.

A 2014 Waverly city audit lists Terex as the city's fifth largest employers with 350 employees, roughly 4.35% of the city's workforce.