Latest Cat layoffs from consolidations start this week

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Caterpillar Inc. has not yet said how many employees, many of whom are in the Peoria region, are being laid off in the latest round of job reductions that start this week.

Already, many employees in Peoria, East Peoria and Mossville – many of them engineers – have begun receiving notices that their positions are being eliminated.

The reductions all are part of a large-scale restructuring first announced a year ago. At that time the company said about 10,000 jobs would be eliminated as work was streamlined. It did not say in a statement issued Monday whether that number has been met or exceeded as per the restructuring plan.

“There is no questions this is a tough period for everyone,” the company said in its statement. “The Peoria area has been home to Caterpillar for 91 years and the company wants to emerge even stronger for its own people and for this community.”

The newest round of cuts stem from the creation of a new Caterpillar division that was announced almost two weeks ago. That new division was created through the consolidation of two other divisions and it will be focused on research, technology and product development and be more aligned, efficient and competitive. Operations of the new division begin Thursday, the announcement said.

That announcement quoted Group President Denise Johnson, who said it was likely there would be “significant workforce reductions” as a result of the consolidation of the Advanced Component & System and the Product Development & Global Technology Divisions.

“While difficult, the streamlining at all levels of the company, including within the officer ranks, is necessary given the global market environment that is impacting the company's business," Johnson said.

The new division will be headed by Jean Savage, currently vice president of the Advanced Component & System Division.

Caterpillar said it will try to place affected employees in other positions in the company or help them transition to a new company. Displaced employees will receive severance packages and outplacement services, the company said.

Caterpillar stock has been trading consistently above $80 a share in recent weeks, hitting its 52-week high two weeks ago. It closed at $82.48 a share on Tuesday. 

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).