Caterpillar Announces More Layoffs

Jan. 30, 2009
More than 2,000 let go, and additional cuts could be on the way

Caterpillar Inc. said Jan. 30 that it will cut an additional 2,110 workers at three Illinois plants while evaluating whether more workforce reductions are necessary after announcing plans to lay off 20,000 employees earlier in the week.

Workers impacted by the layoffs that will take effect April 13 include 500 at the company's wheel loaders and hydraulic excavators plant in Aurora, 1,026 at the Decatur facility where the company manufactures off-highway trucks, motor graders and wheel tractor scrapers, and 584 employees at its tractor and pipelayer plant in East Peoria.

In addition, 416 support and management employees in Aurora, Decatur and East Peoria were also laid off. This includes 96 support and management staff in Aurora, 146 in Decatur and 174 in East Peoria.

In a statement, the company said "other Caterpillar business units are currently determining the level of layoffs and separations needed to reach the previously announced plan to reduce the company's support and management workforce" and that more layoffs may be necessary.

The cutbacks are in response to lower demand for the products made at the Illinois facilities, the company said.

"It is never easy to take steps that impact the lives of our employees and their families," Bob Williams, Caterpillar vice president for the Americas Operations division, said in a statement. "But over the last few months, recessionary conditions have had a very negative impact on our customers and we must drastically reduce our production levels and cost structure in order to remain competitive for the long run."

About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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