Europe

Caterpillar considers closing Belgian site, laying off 2,000

  • FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, heavy equipment is parked at the site of Caterpillar Belgium, in Gosselies, Belgium. US. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 that it may close a Belgian manufacturing site and lay off about 2,000 employees, an announcement met by the Belgian government and company employees with dismay and alarm. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

    FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, heavy equipment is parked at the site of Caterpillar Belgium, in Gosselies, Belgium. US. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 that it may close a Belgian manufacturing site and lay off about 2,000 employees, an announcement met by the Belgian government and company employees with dismay and alarm. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, heavy equipment is parked at the site of Caterpillar Belgium, in Gosselies, Belgium. US. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 that it may close a Belgian manufacturing site and lay off about 2,000 employees, an announcement met by the Belgian government and company employees with dismay and alarm. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

    FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, heavy equipment is parked at the site of Caterpillar Belgium, in Gosselies, Belgium. US. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 that it may close a Belgian manufacturing site and lay off about 2,000 employees, an announcement met by the Belgian government and company employees with dismay and alarm. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. heavy equipment maker Caterpillar says it may close a Belgian manufacturing site and lay off about 2,000 workers, an announcement met with dismay and alarm by employees and the government.

Prime Minister Charles Michel and Economy Minister Kris Peeters were expected to attend an emergency meeting with leaders of the Wallonia regional government, home to Caterpiller's Gosselies site. Paul Magnette, leader of the regional government, sought meetings with unions and company management.

Magnette told local media Friday he was scandalized by Caterpillar's announcement since the Gosselies site had been given government financial support.

In post on its website, Caterpillar said that in line with its September 2015 global restructuring plan, it was considering shifting production of construction equipment now at Gosselies to Grenoble, France, and other facilities outside Europe.