As Caterpillar reported an $87 million loss in 2015's fourth quarter, it detailed plans to close five plants as part of a broader cost cutting campaign announced last year. Closings and jobs affected include:
- In East Peoria, Illinois, about 230 office and production jobs will be lost as manufacturing is consolidated. Some positions may be transferred to outside contractors. Of that 230 cut jobs, 10 are UAW 974 workers. Another 120 East Peoria employees will be laid off indefinitely.
- In Thomasville, Georgia, 200 jobs at the fuel systems manufacturing facility will be cut.
- At the after treatment plant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 50 office and production jobs will close.
- 220 jobs are cut with the closing of the Prentice, Wisconsin, forest-products facility. Production will be moved to existing Caterpillar facilities in LaGrange, Georgia, and Victoria, Texas. Cat is in negotiations with a third party to purchase the Prentice facility and there is potential that the third party will maintain a portion of the current Prentice facility workforce.
- Some remanufacturing work currently being performed in Lafayette, Indiana, will be transferred to the company’s remanufacturing hub in Corinth, Mississippi. No layoffs are anticipated in Lafayette.
- Caterpillar facilities in Mississippi plan to add about 45 positions over the next few years as a result of continued global consolidation of its engine remanufacturing business.
- Two engine component manufacturing plants in Pontiac, Illinois, will be consolidated, adding 120 jobs.
- Cat is contemplating consolidation of its Texas Van Alstyne production warehouse operations into the Denison manufacturing operation. If finalized, the consolidation would begin in the first half of 2016 and be complete by the end of the year. Caterpillar will consolidate leased office space in Denison into its primary manufacturing building. No jobs should be cut.
On a positive note, large wheel loaders produced in Tongzhou, Jiangsu province in China will transition to the Caterpillar wheel loader facility in Aurora, Illinois, and the Tongzhou facility will close in the second quarter of 2016, impacting 40 positions. Total employment in Aurora is not expected to be impacted at this time as the work will be absorbed into existing operations.