Caterpillar to Slash 1400 Jobs in Belgium

Caterpillar to Slash 1,400 Jobs in Belgium

Company said job cuts were aimed at keeping the plant open and operational beyond 2015.

BRUSSELS -- Heavy machinery firm Caterpillar (IW 500/21) plans to slash 1,400 jobs at its Gosselies site in Belgium, one of Caterpillar's largest facilities in Europe, management and trade unions said.

The plant, which employs around 4,000 workers and has been open since 1965, is located on the outskirts of Charleroi in southern Belgium, a region that was once a thriving industrial belt.

It notably produces hydraulic excavators and loaders while also manufacturing and assembling engines and parts components, including drives, gears, axles and cylinders.

Caterpillar CEO Nicolas Polutnik was quoted by Belgian radio as saying the job cuts -- involving 1,100 workers and 300 office staff -- were aiming at keeping the plant open and operational beyond 2015.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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