Caterpillar to close facilities, could cut 880 jobs

Caterpillar will close two facilities and is contemplating the closure of its engine manufacturing plant in Illinois, which together could potentially result in about 880 job losses, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.

The restructuring, announced over the past two months, is part of the heavy equipment maker’s overall strategy to boost profitability and make itself better able to manage business cycles.

The move will affect its work tools facility in Waco, Texas, and its demonstration center in Panama, said the company spokeswoman.

Separately, Caterpillar’s Progress Rail unit is contemplating the closure of its engine manufacturing facility in LaGrange, Illinois, shifting the work to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and outside suppliers.

“If the LaGrange decision is finalized, the closure would impact approximately 600 full-time positions related directly to engine manufacturing,” Caterpillar’s spokeswoman said.

Caterpillar’s workers were informed of the plans about the LaGrange and Panama facilities in January. The decision on the Waco facility was announced in late February.

The company’s shares were up 1.5 percent at $156.93 on Friday morning.