240 jobs to be lost as Caterpillar closes Oxford plant - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

240 jobs to be lost as Caterpillar closes Oxford plant

OXFORD, MS (WMC) -

Heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar will close its Oxford plant next year and eliminate approximately 240 jobs, the company announced Thursday.

The move comes as Caterpillar faces lower demand for its machines and is trying to cut costs.

Facilities in three other states are also being shuttered, and one building in Illinois will be demolished, cutting 820 jobs in all, the company said.

The Oxford factory manufactures high-pressure hose couplings. Some of the work will be sent to a facility in Michigan, with suppliers picking up the rest.

Oxford employees will keep production running into 2017, and consolidation will happen in the next 12-18 months, the company said. 

The factory has faced adversity before. It was heavily damaged by a tornado in 2008, setting off a supply chain crisis since the factory was the only location making couplings at the time.

Caterpillar’s new restructuring effort dates back to September and has eliminated about 5,300 jobs so far.

“Caterpillar recognizes these restructuring actions are painful for its dedicated workforce, their families and the impacted communities,” the company said in a memo shared with employees.  “The decisions are difficult, however, it is necessary to have the right capacity in place for the tough market conditions the company is facing.”

Facilities in Jacksonville, FL; Morganton, NC; Newberry, SC; and Ridgeway, SC are also being closed.

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