Caterpillar workers from Burnie to work in Thailand

Some of the workers from the Caterpillar plant in Burnie will work at the company’s factory in Rayong, Thailand. 

The Naomi Valley Independent reports that this is the same factory that will take on some of the heavy equipment models currently produced in Burnie. 

As the company announced on Tuesday, the relocation means that 200 jobs will be lost from the Burnie factory. So, in effect, the Tasmanian workers will be working at the factory that took jobs from their own plant.

While he confirmed the movement of the workers, a Caterpillar spokesman told The Naomi Valley Independent that the company does not discuss production numbers or any other metrics associated with its factories.

According to Australian Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary John Short, Burnie workers have already been working at the Thailand plant for the past 18 months.

He claimed that some of the Tasmanian workers may be involved in training their Thai counterparts and suggested that the work standards in the Thai factory may be below those achieved in the Tasmanian plant.

“We've heard stories the quality in the Thai factory may not be up to the standard of that produced by the Burnie workforce,” Short said.

When announcing the job cuts earlier this week, the company said in a statement that the decision came after an extensive review of its Burnie operations which led it to the conclusion that move was necessary to ensure it remained competitive.

The decision followed further job cuts earlier this year.