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Black & Decker eliminates 47 jobs at Towson headquarters

Black & Decker Corp. has eliminated 47 jobs at its Towson headquarters through a combination of layoffs and voluntary buyouts, the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves by the world's largest maker of power tools.

A company spokeswoman said yesterday that the cuts represent a small fraction of the nearly 1,200 employees at the facility, and that no further cuts are anticipated. This summer, the company ceased production at its Easton power tools plant, resulting in 1,300 layoffs.

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"This reflects the general business and economic conditions and the competitive situation," said Barbara Lucas, a Black & Decker spokeswoman. "We compete in a global economy with other power tool producers and have to make sure we have a world-class cost base, and we decided we needed to take out some costs in the headquarters operations."

Of the 47 employees, 40 took a voluntary severance package that included an extension of health benefits. The seven who were laid off also received severance pay, Lucas said.

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About half the employees were engineers or involved in engineering support.

The rest of the eliminated positions fell in various job categories. Lucas said the work would be absorbed by existing employees.

Black & Decker reported a 15 percent increase in second-quarter profit.

The company reported that it had lowered costs by $12 million in the quarter compared with the same period in 2002 as a result of a restructuring program will save the company $35 million this year and $40 million next year.

The Easton plant was closed after the company decided to shift the tasks to locations with lower labor costs. Most of the jobs went to Mexico, while others went to Brazil and Fayetteville, N.C.


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