Laid off Caterpillar workers still looking for jobs - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Laid off Caterpillar workers still looking for jobs

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It's a company former employees described as stable, but it's had hundreds of layoffs and Wednesday, a financial report proving yet another chink in Caterpillar's armor. WAND followed up with former employees affected by the massive layoffs.

A mother who was let go from Caterpillar in the first round of layoffs said she's still looking for a job. She's had to downsize from her house to an apartment. She said she's had a couple of job interviews but added she's still doing everything she can to get her life back to where it used to be.

Oscar Esparza sat down with WAND when he first got his layoff notice. Today, he is still unemployed, along with his wife who also was laid off from Caterpillar. He said he's applying for almost thirty jobs a week. He's ready to take the first opportunity that comes his way. He said he misses being around his friends at Caterpillar but is staying positive that he will find a job soon. Unemployment benefits are not enough to take care of his family. Now he has to take his eighth grade son out of private school.

"We could afford it when we were working at Caterpillar, my wife and I, Jennifer," Esparza said. "Now that we're both laid off, we cannot afford it for next year. And it's kind of sad in our part because we wanted him to finish there."

And while former employees are getting behind on bills, Caterpillar's top executives are making hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars. Chairman and CEO Douglas Oberhelman has gotten a pay raise each year since 2010. The latest proxy statement shows that Oberhelman earned around $1.6 million last year. Five group presidents also have seen salary hikes each year since 2010.

In the latest Caterpillar news, its earnings report released Wednesday proved less than satisfactory. Quarter two showed a 43 percent drop in profits. Second quarter sales and revenue also fell around 16 percent.

Caterpillar's stock closed Thursday at just over $82 per share. That's down almost 2 percent from Wednesday.

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