Caterpillar To Close Belgian Site Laying Off More Than 2,000 People

YouKnowWhatIMeanLike

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Caterpillar is about to lay off more than 2,000 with the decision to close its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.

It's all about Caterpillar's global restructuring and cost-savings plan. This shows you how quickly things can change in a globalized world. Companies come and go. They stay as long as it fits some strategic agenda. Caterpillar is a very profitable (increased its dividends between 2009-2015 by more than 50%) and a highly competitive company that just happens to have reconsidered its physical setup in the world in a couple of weeks. and now more than 2,000 people can go and have to reconsider their lives around this decision by the shareholders of Caterpillar.

interesting times ahead.

Caterpillar Considers Closing a Belgium Factory - WSJ

same is the case for the Monkstown plant in Newtownabbey

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-37245964
 
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McSlaggart

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Caterpillar is about to lay off more than 2,000 with the decision to close its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.
Caterpillar cuts up to 250 jobs in Northern Ireland - BBC News
We are as always heading into dangerous times. The idea of work and wealth are going to cause major friction in the years to come. Their will be increasing less need for people to "work" and the amount of wealth the majority will have will also be decreasing.......


"n a forthcoming book Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics, argues along similar lines that America may be pioneering a hyper-unequal economic model in which a top 1% of capital-owners and “supermanagers” grab a growing share of national income and accumulate an increasing concentration of national wealth. The rise of the middle-class—a 20th-century innovation—was a hugely important political and social development across the world. The squeezing out of that class could generate a more antagonistic, unstable and potentially dangerous politics."

The onrushing wave | The Economist
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Sure that's capitalism, the needs of the stockholder (owner) are paramount.
 

Polly Ticks

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We are as always heading into dangerous times. The idea of work and wealth are going to cause major friction in the years to come. Their will be increasing less need for people to "work" and the amount of wealth the majority will have will also be decreasing.......
Very much so. I watch China to get some sense of what's coming down the road regarding automation and human labor displacement.. and it ain't pretty!
 

Jack O Neill

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Very much so. I watch China to get some sense of what's coming down the road regarding automation and human labor displacement.. and it ain't pretty!
Still on a positive note it will leave more time for us all to post on PIE , why we might even get to the 92000 posts one little sickie has on here .
 

Polly Ticks

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From this week..

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/13/artificial-intelligence-robots-threat-jobs-forrester-report

By 2021, robots will have eliminated 6% of all jobs in the US, starting with customer service representatives and eventually truck and taxi drivers. That’s just one cheery takeaway from a report released by market research company Forrester this week.
By 2021 a disruptive tidal wave will begin. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service and consumer services,” said Forrester’s Brian Hopkins in the report.
 

Mad as Fish

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Caterpillar is about to lay off more than 2,000 with the decision to close its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.

It's all about Caterpillar's global restructuring and cost-savings plan. This shows you how quickly things can change in a globalized world. Companies come and go. They stay as long as it fits some strategic agenda. Caterpillar is a very profitable (increased its dividends between 2009-2015 by more than 50%) and a highly competitive company that just happens to have reconsidered its physical setup in the world in a couple of weeks. and now more than 2,000 people can go and have to reconsider their lives around this decision by the shareholders of Caterpillar.

interesting times ahead.

Caterpillar Considers Closing a Belgium Factory - WSJ

same is the case for the Monkstown plant in Newtownabbey

Caterpillar cuts up to 250 jobs in Northern Ireland - BBC News
This has been on the cards for a while as global sales of construction equipment have been depressed for sometime. Here in Ireland they were down 15% over the first six months of this year if I recall correctly (Farmers Journal article, behind a paywall alas and I've thrown out the hard copy) and so nobody should be surprised about this or other such developments. The other big players in the west to watch are Komatsu, Hyundai and John Deere, all have plants in China I believe and as for JCB then the hype is the message, compare and contrast -

JCB: Britain’s yellow digger, a money machine scooping up sales of £2.6bn


https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/11/jcb-britain-yellow-digger-money-machine-sales

with the headlines of just a month later -

JCB stuck in a rut as emerging markets decline hits earnings

https://www.ft.com/content/5a840358-fb07-11e4-84f3-00144feab7de
 

Orbit v2

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Very much so. I watch China to get some sense of what's coming down the road regarding automation and human labor displacement.. and it ain't pretty!
We live in a democracy though, which is a safety valve (however imperfect). I started reading a book a while back which was predicting that the professions are next in line for such displacement by automation. As soon as that starts to happen, mainstream democratic politics will sit up and take notice (if it hasn't already).
 

Polly Ticks

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We live in a democracy though, which is a safety valve (however imperfect). I started reading a book a while back which was predicting that the professions are next in line for such displacement by automation. As soon as that starts to happen, mainstream democratic politics will sit up and take notice (if it hasn't already).
True. Also a very different labor market. I watch China knowing I can't exactly superimpose their experience onto ours.. but things like large scale layoffs of workers are already happening.. can see that happening in our democracies down the line..
 

beazlebottom

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Caterpillar is about to lay off more than 2,000 with the decision to close its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.

It's all about Caterpillar's global restructuring and cost-savings plan. This shows you how quickly things can change in a globalized world. Companies come and go. They stay as long as it fits some strategic agenda. Caterpillar is a very profitable (increased its dividends between 2009-2015 by more than 50%) and a highly competitive company that just happens to have reconsidered its physical setup in the world in a couple of weeks. and now more than 2,000 people can go and have to reconsider their lives around this decision by the shareholders of Caterpillar.

interesting times ahead.

Caterpillar Considers Closing a Belgium Factory - WSJ

same is the case for the Monkstown plant in Newtownabbey

Caterpillar cuts up to 250 jobs in Northern Ireland - BBC News
i would expect that the Bureaucracy, bollixology and Bullsh*temanating from Brussels would have figured prominently in the Board's thinking. Expect to see lots more of this in a Europe run by the like of Juncker and other such morons.
 

Lúidín

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An irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism, as Marxists wisely point out, is that when you eliminate workers you eliminate purchasers. It's a double-edged sword. You can get machines to make things but you can't get machines to buy stuff.
 

Mad as Fish

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i would expect that the Bureaucracy, bollixology and Bullsh*temanating from Brussels would have figured prominently in the Board's thinking. Expect to see lots more of this in a Europe run by the like of Juncker and other such morons.
They had similar plans for their French plant -

Caterpillar Seeking to Close Plant in France
Company Wants to Stop Production at Plant About 40 Miles North of Paris


Caterpillar Seeking to Close Plant in France - WSJ

But then remembered that the French don't like being messed with -

Caterpillar managers held hostage by French workers in new 'bossnapping'

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/apr/01/boss-hostage-france-caterpillar
 

robut

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Sort of related ..

Italy's lost decades but average Irish standard of living lower

Italy has endured two lost decades and by the mid-2020s will have endured almost 30 years of stagnation but in 2015 the typical Irish standard of living was below that of an Italian counterpart despite annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth of over 26%!

There are two economies in Ireland: the FDI (foreign direct investment) related economy and the bigger indigenous economy. The majority of private sector workers are in non-exporting sectors — these workers typically are poorly paid and they do not have occupational pension coverage.

Ireland had the highest percentage of workers on low pay among 28 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries in 2014 according to the OECD Employment Outlook 2016 (Page 238).
The OECD defines low pay as "the share of workers earning less than two-thirds of median earnings (mid-way point where half the population are above and the other half below)" — Ireland was at 25.1% compared with 17.6% in 2004, followed by the US at 24.9%. The OECD average was 16.8% while Denmark was at 7.9% and Belgium was at 4.6%.
This much vaunted 100,000 new job "creation" by FG / LAB Gov has never been questioned. We just see the numbers of jobs being created but never look at the job quality or pay.

It seems we have the highest % of workers on low pay across the OECD WHILE our cost of living keeps rising substantially. How can these Irish workers afford to save or buy a house as a first time buyer? Even afford to rent now?

Economically and socially I do not know how this can be sustained in even the short / medium term?

Looks like its been jobs at all costs but sod the quality and pay as long as the statistics look favourable.
 
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Mad as Fish

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An irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism, as Marxists wisely point out, is that when you eliminate workers you eliminate purchasers. It's a double-edged sword. You can get machines to make things but you can't get machines to buy stuff.
I'm no great fan of Henry Ford generally but this is something he certainly understood and increased the pay of his workers so that they could afford to buy his cars -

The $5 Day | Henry Ford 150
 

aldiper

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We live in a democracy though, which is a safety valve (however imperfect). I started reading a book a while back which was predicting that the professions are next in line for such displacement by automation. As soon as that starts to happen, mainstream democratic politics will sit up and take notice (if it hasn't already).
I know from the world of pharmacy that automation has a lot of potential to release professionals from repetitive tasks and free them up to deliver more high-value services to people.

You can read more about what Lloyds Pharmacy (the second largest chain in the UK with about 1,500 pharmacies) are planning here with their automated hub-and-spoke dispensary (i.e. Amazon-style) here. It's a massive facility that can output 16,500 boxes of labelled medicines per hour.

Same with the legal profession - you read about a trainee solicitor that has started a company to bring AI to the legal profession.

He is rather optimistic about the benefits of improved technology.
Do you believe artificial intelligence is a threat to the legal profession?

No. I believe that artificial intelligence is a massive positive for the legal profession. There are a lot of misconceptions about what AI actually is, and combined with dramatic headlines, it can create a climate of fear for what is a very useful tool.

For example, AI will allow lawyers to undertake legal research more quickly, identify trends in their business, and work through due diligence and checklists in a more efficient manner.

The ongoing development of AI will bring massive changes to the industry but we’re not going to see ‘robots’ replacing lawyers any time soon.
So it is not all doom and gloom, although the Luddite Fallacy is alive and well in the 21st century.

I don't know what you mean by a democracy functioning as a safety valve though. Do you mean that laws will be passed forbidding innovation? :confused:
 

McSlaggart

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Very much so. I watch China to get some sense of what's coming down the road regarding automation and human labor displacement.. and it ain't pretty!
I would agree. The fact that increasingly the jobs to be lost are those of the middle classes has been missed by a lot of people. In the years to come a lot of the current civil service and legal jobs will be lost........... one example


“What they have done in British Columbia is design a platform using online dispute resolution to allow parties to resolve the low-dollar-value cases without retaining legal counsel. Parties can self-navigate the process and get an outcome that is just as binding as if they had gone through the face-to-face court-based process,” Mr Rule said."

Compelling case for online dispute resolution
 

Disillusioned democrat

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We live in a democracy though, which is a safety valve (however imperfect). I started reading a book a while back which was predicting that the professions are next in line for such displacement by automation. As soon as that starts to happen, mainstream democratic politics will sit up and take notice (if it hasn't already).
Democracy seems to work very counter-intuitively and over the last 4 decades the rich have become fewer and wealthier while the poor (all relative I admit) have become more numerous and less well off.

It would seem "democrats" have become very adept at siding with the rich. You NEVER see poor politicians.
 

McSlaggart

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He is rather optimistic about the benefits of improved technology.


So it is not all doom and gloom, although the Luddite Fallacy is alive and well in the 21st century.

I don't know what you mean by a democracy functioning as a safety valve though. Do you mean that laws will be passed forbidding innovation? :confused:
Its not the innovation that is the problem its the old distribution of the wealth that it creates. Society will have to change its perception of work and what it means if their is much less of it to be done by humans. It could be a golden age with people free to explore their own creativity. The alternative is a few super super rich people and the rest to poor to have a well rounded life.
 


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