Cat announces more restructuring moves; EP plant to close

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Caterpillar Inc. announced Friday it will, as anticipated, close one of its oldest existing buildings in East Peoria as well as place additional employees on indefinite layoff.

Caterpillar announced Building HH in East Peoria will close by the end of 2018, a move the company said earlier was being contemplated. That closure will affect 230 jobs. Also, an additional 120 employees, a combination of office and production workers, will be laid off indefinitely, beginning Feb. 8.

Along with other decisions that are a continuation of its global restructuring and cost cutting program that started last September, the company said it will close five facilities worldwide and reduce 670 jobs. These are part of the plant closings and job reductions announced in September, when Caterpillar said it would cut up to 10,000 jobs and close or consolidate up to 20 facilities by the end of 2018.

These announcements will bring to 14 the number of plants affected and a reduction of more than 5,600 jobs, including 2,100 positions eliminated through early retirement buyouts.

In its statement Friday, made first to employees, the company said these actions “are expected to significantly lower operating costs in the face of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors.”

Further, Caterpillar said, “These decisions enable the company to be more efficient and better utilize its manufacturing assets.”

“Caterpillar recognizes these restructuring actions are painful for its dedicated workforce, their families and the impacted communities. The decisions are difficult; however, it is necessary to have the right capacity in place for the tough market conditions the company is facing,” the statement said.

The investment community on Friday looked favorably on Caterpillar’s decision to continue restructuring. Caterpillar stock was at $62.24 a share at the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, a gain of $1.16 from Thursday’s close.

Below is Caterpillar’s announcement:

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).