By JACK WEATHERLY
Cutbacks in some of Caterpillar Inc. operations – including the closing of five plants and elimination of 670 jobs – and shifting some positions will be Mississippi’s gain.
The Caterpillar remanufacturing plant in Corinth will gain jobs from work that had been done in Lafayette, Ind., according to the company’s website. The Corinth plant has approximately 800 workers.
Over the next few years, Mississippi facilities will gain about 45 jobs, the company said on Friday.
As of two years ago, Caterpillar also had facilities in Booneville, Oxford and another in Corinth, with a total employment of approximately 1,700.
The company did not return calls about its restructuring.
The cutbacks are part of a broader cost-cutting campaign announced last year.
The mining and construction equipment company will cut about 230 jobs for office and production workers at a major manufacturing campus in East Peoria, Ill., where Caterpillar says it’s consolidating some manufacturing and transferring some work to outside contractors. Another 120 employees there will be placed on indefinite layoff.
Caterpillar is also closing factories and cutting about 250 jobs in Thomasville, Ga., and Santa Fe, N.M. — although the company said it will consolidate some operations and add about 160 jobs at an existing plant in Pontiac, Ill.
The company will close a forest products facility in Prentice, Wisc., resulting in about 220 job cuts.
Caterpillar Inc. said most of the moves are part of a broader consolidation effort announced last year, which was expected to affect about 10,000 jobs over three years. Caterpillar currently has about 106,000 workers around the world.
The company reported an $87 million loss in the fourth quarter on sales of about $11 billion. It’s been struggling with weak demand for mining equipment because of lower mineral prices around the world.
The production of large-wheel loaders in Tongzhou, Jiangsu province in China will be move to Aurora, Ill.
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