Caterpillar may move Joliet IL production lines to Mexico

Caterpillar announced that it will decide by March of 2015 whether they will move two production lines from Joliet, IL to Monterrey, Mexico. The job cutting plan will affect 230 members of IAM Local 851 in Channahon, IL.

“The two production lines they’re looking at are probably 75 percent of what the plant is producing,” said State Representative Larry Walsh, Jr., D-Elwood, IL. Walsh said he has spoken with Caterpillar management and he will mount and effort to try and keep the jobs in Joliet. Walsh said, “Nothing is in stone and I have asked Caterpillar to let us know if there is anything we can do.”

Walsh is the Secretary-Treasurer for IAM District 8 in Burr Ridge, IL and worked at the Caterpillar plant.

A company statement suggested the propects of keeping the jobs in Joliet is not very good.

“In studing the global landscape for producing these type of components, it is becoming clear that the Joliet location is not as competitive for these particular components,” Jean Savage, vice president for Capterpillar’s Advanced Components and Systems Division, said in the written statement.

Ron Stanley, Business Representative for IAM District 8, said the Union has received a 60-day notice from the company, “Per the contract, they have to give us a 60-day notice for a partial plant closing.”

Stanley said, “We have information requests in regarding the move and the Union has asked to speak with company officials about the announcement.”

The Joliet plant opened in 1951. It employed 6,900 workers in the late 1970’s.

Now, the company lease on the property runs out in 2018.

This would be just the most recent move of good paying family supporting jobs by Caterpillar to third world countries in search of cheap labor.