Caterpillar announced a number of employees were laid off on 30 April as part of global steps being taken to reduce costs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a report from the Peoria Journal Star, the layoffs included full-time support, management and production positions, as well as reductions in the flexible workforce.
Company spokeswoman Kate Kenny was quoted as saying the move was part of a plan “to reduce costs due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to improve our competitiveness during this period of economic uncertainty.”
Kenny told news outlets the cuts 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 28 April, 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 crisis than the first quarter.
Weeks ago, in response to the pandemic, 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.