CAT offers early retirement option, Obama to visit Peoria plant

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Caterpillar is offering early retirement to eligible production employees in central Illinois and across the United States.

CAT is offering the voluntary early retirement to about 2,000 production workers in Aurora, Decatur, Joliet, Pontiac, the Peoria-area as well as in Denver, Colorado, Memphis, Tennessee and York, Pennsylvania.

CAT says this is a direct result of the weakened global economy. CAT also says more voluntary and involuntary workforce reductions may be required as the year unfolds.

CAT has announced 22,000 job cuts in recent weeks including 1,100 layoffs at the Decatur plant.

Also on Thursday, President Barack Obama will make a stop at the Peoria Caterpillar plant as part of his efforts to promote his economic stimulus plan.

President Obama says Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens told him the company will rehire some laid off workers if the stimulus bill passes.

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