More cuts at Caterpillar

August 7, 2009 3:23:10 PM PDT
At the entrance to Caterpillar's Clayton plant, you can see examples of the two pieces of heavy equipment made there.But soon only one piece - a wheel loader - will continue to be manufactured in Clayton.

"It's likely in the short-term, and we've told employees that we will have some layoffs as a result of that," explained spokesman Jim Dugan.

Dugan said it's all about the company's efforts to reorganize its building construction products division which also includes the company's plant in Sanford.

Caterpillar won't say how many workers will get the ax.

Former Caterpillar worker Anthony Medlin knows how workers will feel when they're let go. He worked for Caterpillar for 12 when he was let go at Christmas and feels lucky he's one of only a few co-workers who have found new jobs.

"It puts a lot of pressure on you and your family. You have to deal with that. Of course, I've been able to work through everything," he said.

"There may be some good news in all of this. Caterpillar officials say the short-term pain may help long-term gain, and that Triangle facilities could end up with more employees in the future.

"We think two, three years from now, once all these moves have been completed, they'll be very, very well positioned to compete and ultimately to grow," said Dugan.

If some of the old jobs do come back to the Triangle Caterpillar plants, Anthony Medlin won't be joining the workforce. Although his new job offers less pay, he's still a little bitter about Caterpillar.

"Just for the way that they did do things, I probably would not go back to work for them," he offered.

But if they do offer more jobs in the future, Caterpillar likely won't have trouble filling them.


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