Thousands of Caterpillar employees take early retirement as cuts continue

Updated Oct 29, 2015

caterpillar-visitors-center2As Caterpillar begins its extensive workforce cuts around the world, thousands of employees have decided to take an offer of early retirement.

Since announcing a cost-cutting plan in September, Caterpillar has laid off hundreds at its East Peoria plant and announced the closing of its global mining headquarters. And with the possibility that the workforce cuts could reach as many as 10,000 employees worldwide, the Peoria Journal Star reports 2,100 of the company’s white collar employees have opted to take early retirement packages.

“Just over 50 percent of the people offered the plan took it,” Cat CFO Brad Halverson told the paper. “I’m extremely happy to say that number will mean fewer people will lose jobs.”

The Star reports Caterpillar plans to cut another 1,000 salaried and management jobs by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the company announced layoffs in three more locations, one of which will include the closing of an office.

According to a report from the Herald Democrat, at the company’s Denison and Van Alstyne plants in Texas, the company will lay off a total of 30 employees who manufacture rotary blasthole drills and hydraulic track drills for mining, Cat’s hardest hit division over the last three years.

And in London, Ontario, Canada, the company will lay off 50 employees, according to a report from The Globe and Mail. The employees work at Cat’s Electro-Motive Diesel rail locomotive office which will close by the end of the year.

As was the case with its mining HQ, Cat says it will consolidate the Electro-Motive office “with other facilities,” the Globe reports.

By 2018, up to 20 Cat facilities worldwide will be consolidated or closed as part of the cost-cutting plan which is expected to save the company $1.5 billion.

Last week the company reported its third quarter earnings with sales down 19 percent year over year to $11 billion and profit down 64 percent to $368 million.