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Business

Caterpillar layoffs near 25,000

Latest update : 2009-03-17

US equipment company Caterpillar announced 2,454 new layoffs in five US plants, confirming that it is hard hit by the construction crisis. These cuts bring the total number of layoffs this year to nearly 25,000.

AFP - US heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Tuesday it would eliminate 2,454 jobs, bringing to nearly 25,000 the number of layoffs the embattled company has announced so far this year.
  
Five plants will be affected by the layoffs, Caterpillar said in statements to local newspapers in Indiana, Georgia and Illinois.
  
A plant in Jefferson, Georgia, will be shut and jobs will be lost at another Georgia plant and in sites in Indiana and Illinois.
  
A Caterpillar spokesman told AFP that 2,200 of the 2,454 announced layoffs were new, while 254 had been previously announced.
  
The Peoria, Illinois-based company explained that the headcount reductions were taken "to deal with a very challenging global business environment.
  
"Depending on business conditions, more layoffs and separations may be required as the year unfolds."
  
The cuts in white-collar and blue-collar jobs will occur in May and June, spokesman Jim Dugan said, suggesting that some of the workers may be called back to work when conditions improve.
  
"Our hope would be that we could bring these people back, but we see it’s going to be at least six months, maybe more," he said.
  
Caterpillar, which makes a range of products for construction, mining, marine and forestry industries, announced in January that it would slash 20,000 jobs worldwide by the end of March to cope with "an extraordinarily challenging year."
  
Four days later the company announced an additional 2,100 layoffs.
  
The company chalked up its sixth consecutive year of record sales and revenues in 2008, but posted a 32 percent in fourth-quarter net profit amid a sharp global economic slowdown.

Date created : 2009-03-17

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