The layoff is not connected with Caterpillar’s earlier announced decision to cease making on-highway truck engines, or to an announcement by the governor of Texas on Thursday that Caterpillar is going to build a small-engine plant in that state, transferring some work from Mossville, a Caterpillar spokesman said.
Naturally the UAW is skeptical, and as much as this “move 1,400 jobs somewhere else for fun and profit” vibe irks me, one thing must be said: The Texas project has been in the works for months and nobody imagined the economy would’ve turned this ugly by now. The coincidence makes Cat look like Scrooge painted yellow this morning, but hey, coincidences do happen.
(Some part of me pities the Texans who sold their souls and abandoned their pride to get this plant. Because Texans are such a prideful bunch.)
Last night’s post:
On the same day that 800-plus got pink-slip notices from the Mossville engine plant, word came out about a new engine plant Caterpillar is planning. It moves 1,400 jobs from Illinois and and South Carolina to a town east of San Antonio. From the Austin American-Statesman:
Caterpillar Inc., a heavy-equipment giant, is consolidating its assembly, paint and testing operations from Illinois and South Carolina to Seguin. On the economic development scorecard, the move counts as a win for Texas against Mexico and South Carolina, both of which were also competing for the facility.
“The location really just fits our long-term strategic plans,” said Kate Kenny, a spokeswoman for Caterpillar. “About 70 percent of the engines that will be manufactured there will be exported, and Seguin gives us great access to ports and interstates and other hubs.”
Seguin is on Interstate 10 and near Interstate 35, and it is about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio and about 50 miles south of Austin. The ports of Houston and Corpus Christi are about an equal distance away. And when construction of Texas 130 is completed, the city will mark one end of the highway.
The state’s offering is the biggest Texas Enterprise Fund investment this year. In previous years, the fund has granted $50 million to companies such as Texas Instruments. The Texas Enterprise Fund was created in 2003 at the urging of Gov. Rick Perry and was funded through the Texas Legislature in 2005 and 2007.
This item says it’ll generate $170 million in capital investment. Well, at least they’re not pouring it into credit default swaps. Next on my to-do list: see how many millions Texas will give me to move my blog headquarters to a flat above an ultra-hip Austin watering hole. I love that song about going home with the armadillo.