In a corporate press release posted last Friday afternoon, Caterpillar announced it is contemplating to allocate the volumes produced at its facility in Gosselies, Belgium, to other manufacturing facilities. The Gosselies plant primarily manufactures construction equipment.
This announcement starts an information and consultation process, which could result in the closure of the Gosselies site and a collective lay off. This announcement is in connection with the global restructuring and cost savings plan announced in September 2015.
Following extensive review, Caterpillar is contemplating to allocate the volumes that are produced at the Gosselies facility to the manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France, and to other manufacturing facilities outside Europe. It is also contemplated to allocate component production to external suppliers and other Caterpillar facilities and to consolidate support functions to other sites.
If this intention would be confirmed, it would result in a collective lay off of about 2,000 employees and in the closure of the Gosselies site.
“We have to contemplate actions to reduce manufacturing capacity and take operating costs out of our business to align with lower demand. Should the intention be confirmed, we will support the local leadership in order to mitigate the impact on our employees, their families and the communities where we’re located,” said Tom Pellette, group president with responsibility for Construction Industries.
During the upcoming information and consultation process, Caterpillar is committed to comply with the applicable laws and to engage in a constructive dialogue with the employee representatives in order to minimize the social impact.