Caterpillar announced plans Thursday to lay off 10,000 employees, saving the company about $1.5 billion annually.
The Illinois company’s sales have declined three years in a row. It recently lowered its 2015 outlook by $1 billion and expects 2016 revenue to decline by another 5 percent. CEO Doug Oberhelman attributed this to a slowdown in the mining and energy sectors.
In the past three years, Caterpillar has closed or consolidated more than 20 facilities and reduced its workforce by more than 31,000 people. It’s also opened a plant in Bogart that, as of February, employed 932 people.
It remains to be seen whether Caterpillar’s cutbacks will affect the Athens plant; it hasn’t decided where those layoffs will take place. However, considering that the three-year-old plant cost $200 million to build, and the company won’t pay full property taxes on the property for another 16 years, it seems unlikely to close.