Cat to lay off workers in East Peoria due to coronavirus impact

Caterpillar has confirmed its first round of layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic and the cuts are coming at one East Peoria, Illinois, building.

According to a report from WMBD TV, Cat has announced “an unspecified number” of layoffs at East Peoria building KK. Cat spokeswoman Kate Kenny confirmed the layoffs to WMBD and said the move is in response to the drop in demand and supply constraints Cat is facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement Kenny said though Cat manufacturing has been classified as an essential service by the U.S. and a “number of governments,” Cat has been forced to make cutbacks due to the impact on “global economic conditions” by the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are taking a variety of actions at our global facilities to reduce production due to weaker customer demand, potential supply constraints and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions,” Kenny told WMBD in a statement. “These actions include indefinite layoffs at our East Peoria building KK location.”

The layoffs follow Cat’s announcement that it will be forced to close some of its manufacturing facilities due to the global pandemic. The company did not specify which facilities that it would be shutting down, but so far it has announced the closing of its Mapleton, Illinois, cast iron foundry.