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(9:20 AM) Cummins To Cut Global Workforce By 2,000

A Cummins Inc. logo is pictured outside one of the company’s manufacturing plants. Press photo from Cummins.com

Cummins Inc. said this week it plans to lay off 2,000 salaried employees from its global workforce following a downturn in business.

The Columbus-based Cummins told the Indianapolis Star newspaper Monday evening that demand for its products has “deteriorated even faster than expected.” It’s not known where the layoffs will take place within the company, with facilities located across the globe in addition to its Chautauqua County plant.

Cummins employs about 60,000 workers worldwide. Those expected to be laid off include only exempt, or salaried, workers.

In a statement, Jon Mills, Cummins spokesman, told the Indianapolis newspaper: “Unfortunately, we must do more to reduce costs because the downturn is happening at a sharper pace than we experienced in the previous two cycles. We understand this is incredibly difficult for those directly impacted and for all employees across the company.”

Cummins Inc. officials told investors last week that the forthcoming downturn in the market is a time for the company to decrease structural costs by about $50 million while also pouring money into a new power business that will include Cummins Inc.’s existing electrification division as well as a new segment for fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies.

While battery and fuel cell technologies have been a clear focus of Cummins, investments in diesel and natural gas platforms will continue in order to achieve improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

“The new technologies segment is our investment in new capabilities to make sure we’re ready for the technology transition,” said Tom Linebarger, Cummins Inc. chairman and CEO. “We launched a new company called the electrified power business unit, as you know, we’ve now added hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen generation to that, so we are launching a new name, the new power segment. The new power segment will incorporate the investments in both those technologies. … As we’ve gone into those technologies we’ve realized that not only does it represent substitute opportunities but they also represent growth opportunities. So as we acquire Hydrogenics, we now have a hydrogen generation capability. We also sold 40 fuel cell power trains to Alstom, a brand new customer. so we’re seeing new customers, new applications and even just new businesses as we invest in this new power segment. There is a lot of development left to go but I just wanted to position it in a place where it’s a substitute but it’s also new growth as we expand.”

See Wednesday’s edition of The Post-Journal for more coverage.