Caterpillar cut 70 jobs at Burnie

Caterpillar Underground Mining has cut 70 workers from its manufacturing facility in Burnie, Tasmania.

Caterpillar Underground Mining human resources manager Brett Smith said the cuts would affect the company’s casual workers, The Advocate reported.

"We have had another reduction today in our casual workforce of agency workers and it is much in line with the reductions we have had to make earlier in the year," Smith said.

"We regularly monitor our workforce in line with our production rates.

"It is extremely hard to forecast what will happen in the industry, however hopefully we will get some more orders and be able to employ more agency employees in the future."

Earlier this year the company cut 100 jobs at Burnie.

The company's managing director Dan Barich assured workers at the time that there were no plans to move the Burnie business operations offshore.

Barich attributed that round of layoffs to a global slump in the manufacturing sector.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) state secretary John Short said he was working with the company to secure long-term employment.

"Caterpillar is crucial for the local economy. Our estimate is there is more than 4000 households on the North-West Coast that depend on Caterpillar in one way or another," Short said.

"It is extremely sad and disappointing to see more jobs go."

Braddon federal member-elect Brett Whiteley said he had spoekn to CAT about the recent job losses.

"Any job loss is unfortunate and very personal for those impacted," he said.

Weakening demand it its operating segments saw CAT cut its 2013 profit forecast in July.

The move followed a 43.5 per cent drop in its second-quarter earnings.

Caterpillar’s net income came was $US960 million on revenues of $US14.6 billion. This compared with last year's profit of $US1.7 billion on revenues of $US16.7 billion.

Given these results, the company lowered its 2013 global economic growth outlook to just over 2 per cent. Previously it had forecasted 2.5 per cent

"There's no question there's a slowdown. But long-term … mining is a great place to be," Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar's chairman and chief executive, told CNBC.

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