Caterpillar closing 5 more plants, including 2 in SC, amid low demand

FILE

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Caterpillar Inc. says it will close five more factories – including an Oxford, Mississippi plant – as the Peoria, Illinois-based heavy equipment maker reacts to slowing demand for construction and mining equipment worldwide.

The Oxford plant, with 240 employees making metal hose couplings, will continue work into 2017. It will then shift some production to Caterpillar’s plant in Menominee, Michigan, and some work to outside suppliers.

The closure was one of five announced Thursday, cutting 820 jobs overall. Over the next 18 months Caterpillar is also closing plants in Newberry and Ridgeway, South Carolina; Morganton, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.

Caterpillar will also demolish a factory building in Mossville, Illinois, to save money.

Company spokeswoman Rachel Potts says severance packages are being offered, as well as some employee transfers.

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