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Caterpillar Lays Off 300 More Illinois Workers

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment is laying off another 300 Illinois workers as part of a larger shuttering of facilities in the U.S., Belgium, and Ireland, the company announced.

The Illinois-based company announced the layoffs saying it affects mostly office employees at it’s Mossville, Illinois, facilities and began the process of notifying employees, tendering severance packages, and a 60-day notice in compliance with the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

“We issued out WARN letters to the appropriate agencies and employees. The letter does not reflect other reductions at our facilities in the area,” a company spokesperson told the Pekin Times.

But this cut in its workforce is just the beginning. The company also recently began the process of shutting down its plant in Gosselies, Belgium shedding upwards to 2,000 jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Layoffs have been announced for a facility in Northern Ireland, as well.

The moves are part of a general consolidation plan that has already included cuts of some 10,000 jobs worldwide this year alone. Caterpillar has slashed its workforce by about 20 percent, or over 30,000 jobs, since the fourth quarter of 2012. The plan will consolidate 20 plants by the end of 2018, the company said.

Caterpillar reported a fall in its second-quarter profits and noted that demand is down so the consolidations are aimed at restoring profitability.

Several more Illinois-based plants are targeted for closure or heavy cuts.

“We recognize that what we are considering is difficult for our employees, their families and the communities where they live and work,” Caterpillar vice president Tom Frake said. “Despite these contemplated actions, we remain committed to Northern Ireland. In fact, these potential changes would make us more efficient and competitive over the longer term as we adapt to the weak market conditions.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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