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Caterpillar to close Pulaski plant

By Web Staff, WDBJ7, news@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:56:36 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 19 2013 10:46:01 PM EST
PULASKI, Va. -

Caterpillar has announced it's closing its facility in Pulaski. 

The plant made underground mining equipment, including scoops and coal haulers.

The operations will be moved to Pennsylvania by mid-2014.  240 jobs will be lost in Pulaski.

A downturn in the mining business is being blamed.  In October, Caterpillar's third-quarter earnings dropped almost 50%.  The company's revenue is expected to be $11 billion lower than last year.

Caterpillar closed its plant in Tazewell earlier this year and the one in Beckley, West Virginia earlier this month.

Here's the full statement from Caterpillar:

With a focus on taking actions that will best position the company for long-term success, Caterpillar Inc. recently notified employees that it is closing its underground mining facility in Pulaski, Virginia.  The production of underground mining equipment, which includes scoops, coal haulers and other equipment, will transition out of Pulaski and into Caterpillar’s Houston, Pennsylvania, facility by mid-year 2014.  

This announcement comes after Caterpillar notified employees on October 8, 2013, about a contemplated strategic decision to consider the movement of current production to another location. We have since conducted a strategic review of the facility and its operations, and have made the difficult decision to move forward with the closure of the Pulaski facility, which has a workforce of approximately 240 people.

Caterpillar will offer full-time management and support employees a severance package and transitional support. Caterpillar and the union will be meeting to discuss the severance benefits for our production employees. We value the contributions our employees have made at the Pulaski facility. However, these actions are needed to make our underground mining business more efficient and competitive, which will be achieved by consolidating production at our Houston, Pennsylvania, plant.

Earlier this year, as part of the strategic consolidation of operations to improve engineering and manufacturing efficiencies, Caterpillar also shifted production from its Tazewell, Virginia, underground mining facility to Houston, Pennsylvania. Further to that, on November 4, 2013, the company announced it would shift production from its Beckley, West Virginia plant into the company’s Houston, Pennsylvania, plant by mid-2014.