Caterpillar said Friday it is considering closing its plant in Belgium and making 2,000 workers redundant as the U.S. heavy equipment maker plans global job cuts amid lower demand.
The firm, famed for its iconic yellow diggers, said it is "contemplating" moving production from its sole plant in Gosselies, Belgium to one in Grenoble, France and other manufucturing sites outside Europe.
Antonio Cocciolo, an official for the FGTB union, expressed "total disgust" when he told AFP that an American official speaking in English effectively announced the "complete closure of the site" in the French-speaking area of Belgium.
Some 1,300 jobs were already cut in 2013 at the plant near Charleroi airport, south of the Belgian capital Brussels.
In another statement on Thursday, Caterpillar said it was also considering closing its Monkstown facility as part of restructuring in Northern Ireland that could result in the loss of up to 250 jobs.