Redland Genstar lays off 45, closes White Marsh plant 20 more workers take early retirement

April 26, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Redland Genstar Inc., a Hunt Valley operator of stone quarries, has reduced its work force by 65 employees and closed its concrete plant in White Marsh, the company said yesterday.

Jack Gease, director of real estate and public relations, said 45 workers were dismissed and another 20 took early retirement on Wednesday.

Those employees who were dismissed received severance packages, he said.

"This is a very difficult thing to do," said Mr. Gease. "But, due to the continued downturn in the economy and intense competition that we have faced, we have had to take some extraordinary measures."

Redland Genstar runs rock quarries and concrete plants as well as asphalt, sand and gravel operations throughout Maryland. The company has annual sales of about $175 million and its customers include state and county governments and private developers and contractors, Mr. Gease said.

Mr. Gease said the company has been selling equipment and property and consolidating its operations over the last five years to save money.

In 1990, the company employed about 1,700 workers, compared with 800 today, Mr. Gease said.

In the 1980s the company produced 15 million tons of stone a year, but a downturn in the economy coupled with less money spent on highways and office buildings has gouged Redland Genstar.

"We are probably producing at roughly 60 percent of that," Mr. Gease said.

Redland Genstar, formally known as Genstar Stone Products Co., was acquired in 1986 by Redland PLC, a British producer of construction materials.

"We are making money," Mr. Gease said. "But we are not nearly making the return" Redland expects.

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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