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Caterpillar to lay off 300 in Decatur, Ill.

PEORIA, Ill., May 4 (UPI) — Caterpillar Inc. says it will lay off another 300 workers at its Decatur, Ill., factory by the middle of the summer.

The announcement Friday came weeks after the company said it will cut about 500 employees at its home base in Peoria, the Chicago Tribune said.

Caterpillar blamed the cuts, primarily in the production departments, on a drastic slowdown in the global mining industry.

“Products built in Decatur are used in the mining industry, which has witnessed weaker market conditions when compared to last year,” the statement said. “Ultimately, with the softening in this sector, we must take steps to bring production in line with demand.”

The Tribune said Caterpillar sales of mining equipment were expected to decline 30 percent this year as mining slows down due to the slow recovery of the U.S. economy and weakness in Europe and China.

United Steelworkers Local 1343 in Milwaukee said this week its members have turned down a proposed contract with Caterpillar that would have frozen wages for six years.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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