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April 29, 2016 12:00 PM, EDT

Caterpillar to Close Five Plants, Cut 820 Jobs

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Caterpillar has announced the planned closing of five plants and the elimination of about 820 jobs as part of its ongoing restructuring in response to “tough market conditions.”

The closings include two locations in South Carolina as well as one each in Florida, North Carolina and Mississippi. A company statement said the moves will result in “substantial cost reduction,” without specifying an amount. The announced reductions represent less than 1% of its global workforce.



“These decisions enable the company to be more efficient and better utilize its manufacturing assets,” said Caterpillar, which is based in Peoria, Illinois, and began restructuring in September, 2015, as global construction markets slumped. In addition to the cuts announced April 29, 5,300 other jobs have been eliminated so far, along with the closing or consolidation of approximately 20 facilities.

The largest cuts are coming at facilities in Ridgeway and Newberry, South Carolina, where 400 jobs are being cut as production of products such as electric power generation is moved to other Caterpillar plants in Texas, Indiana and Georgia over the next 12 to 18 months. A hose coupling plant closing in Oxford, Mississippi, will eliminate 240 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

Closing a Jacksonville, Florida, location affects about 70 jobs. An engine and undercarriage component manufacturing plant will be closed next year, affecting 110 positions. The company also plans to demolish a building in Mossville, Illinois, that has been unused for five years, but no job cuts are expected there.

“Caterpillar recognizes these restructuring actions are painful for its dedicated workforce, their families and the impacted communities. The decisions are difficult, however, it is necessary to have the right capacity in place for the tough market conditions the company is facing,” the statement said.