Komatsu Sale Means Good News To Peoria Workers

By Denise Jackson

July 15, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2007 at 8:05 PM CDT

Komatsu's Mining Division in Peoria digs up a great deal with China. Komatsu announced it has landed its largest single site contract agreement ever.

Komatsu in Peoria has begun producing 45 of its 9-30-E mining trucks for the China National Coal Development Corporation. Komatsu General Manager Rod Schrader says the 200 million dollar deal gives the company a big competitive edge.

"Obviously China is a very aggressively growing marketplace for not only our product, but for many products. It sends a message that our product is as globally accepted as the leader in electric drive haul trucks."

Schrader says the plan follows a similar one Komatsu had with the China company last year. While the number of jobs at the Peoria plant will not change, Komatsu officials say the agreement comes during a time the company experienced growth. The union president agrees.

Mike Damm, the Local 158 Boilermakers president, said, "It will keep it stable cause you will have the jobs here in Peoria instead of going abroad somewhere else."

"There are some areas in this plant that was three-shift operation around the clock. With the workload that we have now we've beefed that up more. We have three shifts in other parts of the plant that we never had before. So with a minor increase in workforce going to 3 shifts, trying to get the product to the customer, we've increased that."

Schrader says the mining industry's growth mode could peak in a few years possibly creating more lucrative contracts and jobs here in the local area.

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