Caterpillar to Eliminate 500 Jobs
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar is eliminating about 500 jobs as part of an effort to streamline operations at several plants, although the employees will be given the opportunity to seek positions elsewhere in the company, Caterpillar said.
The action will affect salaried and management jobs, Caterpillar spokesman Ben Cordani said last week. With 70,000 workers worldwide, the cuts represent less than 1 percent of its work force.
“This is not a mass layoff. It’s a restructuring that will impact some jobs,” Cordani said. “But we plan to try to re-deploy the affected employees into other parts of the company.” The job reduction will affect plants within the large power systems division: Mossville and Pontiac, Ill.; Lafayette, Ind.; Griffin, Jefferson and Thomasville, Ga; Greenville, S.C.; and Kiel Germany.
Products from that division include engines for trucks and machines, as well as electric engines, marine engines and engines for the petroleum industry.
Gary Stroup, vice president in the large power systems division, said, “A reduction in salaried and management employment … will be necessary to achieve greater synergies and operating efficiencies.”
Caterpillar doesn’t know yet how many employees from each plant will be affected or how many will be redeployed.
The company last week reported a 16 percent increase in fourth quarter profits but predicted earnings will dip slightly in 2003 because of a weak economy and rising employee benefit costs.
Caterpillar shares closed at $43.98 Friday, up 93 cents.