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Caterpillar confirms Peoria-area layoffs Thursday

Caterpillar confirms Peoria-area layoffs Thursday

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A number of employees at Caterpillar Inc. received notices of layoffs on Thursday, company officials confirmed.

The layoffs are part of global steps being taken "to reduce costs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve our competitiveness during this period of economic uncertainty," company spokeswoman Kate Kenny said in response to an email inquiry.

The layoffs included full-time support, management and production positions, as well as reductions in the flexible workforce, Kenny stated. They affect both employees and agency workers.

Because the layoffs are being made at Caterpillar facilities across the world, the company is not identifying specific numbers of people let go at individual work sites.

In announcing decreased first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, the company warned that its financial results "for the remainder of 2020 will be impacted by continued global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Company officials also warned that the second quarter would be "more significantly impacted" by the disease than the first quarter.

Already this year because of changes in the business climate, the company temporarily idled its Mapleton foundry and imposed "indefinite" layoffs on some employees in East Peoria's Building KK.

It also froze pay hikes for salaried employees and top executives and eliminated incentive payouts for 2020.

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