March 17, 2009

CAT Lays Off 2,500 Workers

Remember when Barack Obama claimed that Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens said he would rehire workers recently laid off IF the so-called economic stimulus bill passed?This happened in February. From Reuters:
"Today, the chairman and CEO of Caterpillar said that if the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan passes, his company would be able to rehire some of those employees," said Obama. The president is scheduled to visit a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Illinois, on Thursday.The Peoria Journal Star newspaper reported on Wednesday that Caterpillar Chairman Jim Owens would promise Obama on Thursday that his company would begin recalling laid-off employees if Congress passes an acceptable stimulus package.Obama reiterated his remarks when he visited the plant in East Peoria. Jim Owens stood there and allowed him to assert that the passage of the bill meant workers would be called back. When questioned afterward, Owens tried to distance himself from Obama's promises. Read more here.Today, there's proof that Obama's claims belonged in the "load of crap" file.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to lay off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia as the heavy equipment maker continues to cut costs amid the global economic downturn. Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, has seen its sales wither as the sluggish world economy and credit crisis weaken demand for its products, used to build everything from houses to highways. The company had expanded dramatically in recent years, helped by a building boom in developing countries. In response to the worsening conditions, Caterpillar in January announced job cuts that will ultimately eliminate 20,000 positions. It also said it would slash executive compensation by up to 50 percent and offer buyouts to about 25,000 U.S.-based employees. Caterpillar, which employs about 112,000 people worldwide, said it had imposed a global hiring freeze. In the latest cuts, the Peoria, Ill.-based company said 2,365 support and management workers had been notified of layoffs expected to last at least six months—including 245 announced previously—and 89 workers will be let go permanently. Among the affected workers are 1,726 people at plants in Illinois. They include 911 workers at a plant in East Peoria that makes track-type tractors and pipelayers and 815 at a plant in Aurora, where the company produces hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders. Caterpillar notified the employees Tuesday of the layoffs which are expected to last at least six months starting in June. In this AP article announcing the layoffs, there is not one word about Obama's promise that Caterpillar workers would be rehired if the stimulus bill passed. Well, the bill passed. Caterpillar workers weren't rehired. Instead, there are more layoffs and some workers are being let go permanently.This directly contradicts what Obama said would happen. More broken promises from Obama. I'm sure there are many more to come.

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