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In pictures: How laid-off Caterpillar workers are faring eight months later Add to ...

Caterpillar Inc. closed its 62-year-old Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive plant in London, Ont. in February, putting about 700 people out of work, including 485 unionized members. The heavy-equipment maker cited a need to stay competitive as the reason, and had asked its London workers to take pay cuts of up to 50 per cent. It is now beefing up operations in lower-cost centres in Muncie, Ind. and Sete Lagoas, Brazil. Half a year later in Canada, the headlines have faded, the story largely forgotten. But for many of the former workers at EMD, the grind only started with the job loss. As the severance runs out and bills pile up in a still-soft jobs market, the financial and emotional strain is showing. The Globe and Mail is tracking the impact of the plant shutdown by following the outcomes of half a dozen displaced workers along with community members in London.

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