Caterpillar to lay off 115 employees from South Milwaukee plant

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Officials with United Steel Workers local 1343 tell FOX6 News that Caterpillar will lay off 115 union employees at South Milwaukee facility.  The layoffs are to be effective as of Friday, October 11th.

The layoffs are considered indefinite because there is no call back date. They come on the heels of 260 production jobs being cut over the summer.

The laid off employees have call back rights (due to their contract) which means that if the market should improve and Caterpillar decides to hire people, the laid off workers would be the first ones considered (base on seniority).

One worker who did not want to talk on camera with FOX6 News said supervisory and production control employees were laid off last week.

Caterpillar released the following statement to FOX6 News on Monday, September 30th:

  • "With the sharp reduction in dealer inventory and the decline in mining, 2013 is turning out to be a tough year and we've already taken action to reduce costs.  During the first half of the year, we've had temporary factory shutdowns, rolling layoffs throughout much of the company, reductions in our flexible workforce, and we've reduced discretionary and program costs.  While we've taken significant action already, we will be taking additional cost reduction measures in the second half of 2013."

Between 400 and 425 union employees will still be working at the South Milwaukee plant.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.