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Caterpillar to cut 1,400 jobs at plant in Belgium

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Construction equipment maker Caterpillar says it will cut more than one in three jobs at its Belgian plant because of high labor costs and sluggish growth in its European market.

Caterpillar Inc. says it plans to cut 1,400 of the 3,400 jobs at its plant south of Brussels alongside other measures aimed at restoring the site's competitiveness.

The facility is hampered by Europe's low growth prospects and labor costs that are so high that "it currently costs less to import machines to Europe from some other Caterpillar locations than to produce them in Brussels.

The Belgian plant, one of Caterpillar's largest globally, produces hydraulic excavators, loading vehicles, engine parts and components.

(The Peoria, Illinois-based company is the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment).