Caterpillar could cut nearly 900 jobs

Caterpillar could eliminate nearly 900 jobs in the US and Central America, the company said on Friday.

Job cuts will happen at locations in Texas and Panama as part of a restructuring, a spokeswoman said. Employees were notified earlier this year, she said.

The heavy equipment manufacturer also said it is “contemplating the closure” of an engine factory in La Grange, Illinois, which is part of its subsidiary Progress Rail, a supplier of railroad and transit products. The closure, if it happens, would eliminate 600 full-time jobs in engine manufacturing. The company said it might be “transitioning” its rail manufacturing to facilities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as well as “outside suppliers.” The company said the employees were informed in January.

Caterpillar is planning to close its work tools facility in Waco, Texas, by the end of 2018, eliminating 200 job and contractor positions there, the company said. The employees were notified last month. The company plans to move the manufacturing to Wamego, Kansas, and also to “external suppliers.”

Caterpillar also confirmed that it’s closing a facility in Panama, and that 80 jobs will be eliminated. The company said these workers were informed in January.

The cost-cutting measures come even as a growing global economy is boosting demand for its heavy-duty equipment. The company reported in January that quarterly sales grew 18%, its first increase since 2012.

Sales in North American grew by 46% driven by selling and leasing machinery for home building, infrastructure and for the oil and gas industries. Sales were also boosted by increased spending in China.

The company added 3,000 employees last year to meet demand, bringing its total workforce to 98,000.