PORTLAND — Milwaukie power equipment company Blount International laid off 10 percent of its 3,500 employees worldwide last month amid a persistent slowdown in its business. The cuts included fewer than 50 in Milwaukie, according to the company.
“The global business conditions have been generally unfavorable for us for the past few years,” said Chad Paulson, Blount’s general counsel. He said the company has been hurt by economic weakness in Europe and Latin America, unfavorable foreign exchanges rates and, more recently, tariffs.
Blount’s sales have been “flat to down” in recent years, according to Paulson. He said the company believes it can operate sustainably without making further cuts but said it’s impossible to predict whether underlying economic conditions will turn up.
Blount traces its roots to the Oregon Chain Saw Co., founded in Portland in 1947. During a prior downturn in its business in 2015, Blount sold the company to two private equity firms for $855 million. It retained its corporate office in Oregon.
Blount sells chainsaws, lawnmowers, garden trimmers and similar equipment and supplies under several brands including Oregon, Carlton and Kox.