Burnie Caterpillar workers may not lose jobs after all

The 200 workers from Caterpillar’s plant in Burnie who are expecting to lose their jobs this year may now keep them, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

John Short from the AMWU told the ABC that the mining equipment manufacturing company may make a change and hold onto the workers until April or May next year. Or alternatively it may not sack anybody at all.

Caterpillar announced last November that it would be sacking the workers and it was reported that some of those jobs would be relocated a new facility in Rayong, Thailand.

At the time 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.

However, according to Short, the situation has changed.

"It could be the fact that they're not getting the quality of work that they would like to get in Thailand," he said.

"People are prepared to pay a bit more for Caterpillar product than they are for some of the competitors so they need to make sure that the product they're producing is a very high quality and the workers in Burnie can produce that.”

Short also mentioned that the effects of exchange rate changes may be part of the decision.

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