Caterpillar cuts jobs as profits dwindle

Caterpillar Tullamarine's truck body plant in Victoria will retrench staff after parent company announced 20,000 job cuts

Caterpillar Tullamarine’s truck body plant in Victoria will retrench staff after its US parent company recently announced 20,000 job cuts.

The company plans to shut down its night shift operation, it is reported, resulting in about 30 job losses.

Local managers have also been asked of their interest in redundancy packages.

Caterpillar refused to be drawn on the specifics of job losses for each location but did say "every one of the Caterpillar locations will see some impact".

Just under 50 contract workers lost their positions in December.

In the US, huge falls in profit for the fourth quarter last year motivated the mass retrenchments, with profits falling by a third. Export orders had also fallen sharply.

A spokesperson for the US manufacturing giant says "the results were worse than we were even anticipating".

The company had previously forecasted share prices to dip to $US4.22 a share. Now they are expecting share prices to reach as low as $US2.50, with sales expected to drop by 22 percent to $US40 billion, $6 billion less than expected.

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