Caterpillar Cuts Work Hours For 985 At Indiana Plant

Heavy equipment maker said it will cut hours at least in half for 985 of the 1,900 employees at its Lafayette engine plant beginning Aug. 24 that could last for six months.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said it will cut hours at least in half for nearly 1,000 workers at its Lafayette engine plant in its second work reduction announced this month and third in two months.

The company filed a notice Friday with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development saying the reduced hours would affect 985 of the plant's 1,900 employees beginning Aug. 24 and might last for six months.

The Lafayette plant notified Workforce Development on May 5 that it would furlough 141 workers for at least six months, beginning July 31. On March 17, it said it was laying off 439 employees at the plant for at least six months beginning May 29.

"The entire plant will not be closed," the Peoria, Ill.-based maker of farm and mining equipment company said. The Lafayette plant makes diesel engines produced for marine, petroleum, electric power, locomotive and industrial uses.

"Caterpillar is making these decisions in order to best position the company for long-term success and competitiveness in the global market," the company said in a statement. "The use of rolling layoffs also is intended to reduce the number of employees impacted by indefinite layoffs."

The Friday notice was the latest in a series of bad news for Lafayette-area manufacturers. Truck trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. on April 30 sent letters to 790 workers telling them it did not expect to recall them. Wabash National earlier had said it expected to recall the workers before the end of June.

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