Layoffs continue to sideline thousands of workers

| 1/26/2009

Three big U.S. companies announced Monday, Jan. 26, that they’re laying off a total of 35,000 workers. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar will lay off 20,000; Sprint/Nextel will cut 8,000; and Home Depot is letting 7,000 employees go.

And those are joining a long list of companies who have previously announced cutbacks.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Eaton Corp. announced it will lay off more than 5,000 employees –on top of the 3,500 jobs it cut last year. Eaton makes electrical and hydraulic systems and a lot of other components for heavy trucks, cars and aircraft.

The newest round of job cuts means Eaton is laying off more than 10 percent of its workers. The company’s CEO says Eaton has seen a “drastic deceleration” in sales.

Truck engine-maker Cummins says it’s closing its exhaust and emissions plant in Wautoma, WI, which will put about 180 people out of work. A Cummins official said in a company release that the decision to close the plant was painful but necessary.

Cummins had announced Jan. 13 it was cutting 800 salaried jobs worldwide, and that those cuts will be permanent.