Caterpillar closing Santa Fe plant, costing 50 jobs - Albuquerque Journal

Caterpillar closing Santa Fe plant, costing 50 jobs

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The Caterpillar plant in Santa Fe has closed Friday January 29. 2016. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Caterpillar says it plans to close five plants — including one in Santa Fe — causing a net reduction of about 670 jobs across several states, as part of a broader cost-cutting campaign announced last year by the mining and construction equipment company.

About 50 jobs will be lost in Santa Fe, a news release provided to the Journal says. The Santa Fe operation is manufacturing facility with office and production employees.

The plant, on Camino Entrada in south Santa Fe, was closed with the gate locked Friday afternoon, and no one there could be reached by phone.

Caterpillar moved into the area in 2010 with its purchase of CleanAir Systems, Inc., a Santa Fe company that made devices to reduce emissions from diesel-powered machines, which previously had been sold through Caterpillar dealers, along with CleanAir’s 30,000-square-foot plant.

Caterpillar announced the start of a 24,000-square-foot expansion in 2011 to double manufacturing capacity.

Caterpillar said it 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 also is closing a plant in Thomasville, Ga. but will consolidate some operations and add about 160 jobs at an existing plant in Pontiac, Illinois.

The company will close a forest products facility in Prentice, Wisconsin, resulting in about 220 job cuts. Other moves will affect plants in Indiana, Mississippi, Texas and China.

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 Peoria, Illinois-based 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.

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