AP Business Writer
The Moline, Illinois, company also said Friday that it is adding 220 jobs at construction and forestry factories in Iowa. It plans to fill nearly all those positions with workers were laid off at agricultural equipment factories last year.
The latest indefinite layoffs will be centered on sites that build agricultural equipment, a core element of its business. They include 565 workers from three Waterloo, Iowa, locations; another 300 from the Des Moines Works in Ankeny, Iowa; and 45 from the Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois.
Employees laid off until summer work at the company's seeding and cylinder factory in Moline. That location is going on an extended inventory adjustment shutdown. The company said it typically goes through a seasonal inventory adjustment around this time of year.
The layoffs will begin in early February, and most will be effective in late March.
Deere & Co. said last August that it would lay off a total of more than 1,000 workers, with those reductions coming from an Iowa tractor factory and four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment.
The world's biggest farm equipment maker said last fall that it expected its farm equipment sales and profits to fall in the new fiscal year. Falling commodity prices and lower farm income have hurt companies like Deere, which employs about 29,000 people in the United States and Canada and around 60,000 globally.
Deere stock fell 3 percent last year to close at 88.47, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.4 percent.
Franklin Mayor Bob Scott told media outlets the town learned about the closing of the Caterpillar plant Thursday.
The mayor says about everyone in the town of 4,000 in far western North Carolina knows someone who works there.
Caterpillar is also closing a foundry in Toccoa, Georgia, with 125 workers. The work will be consolidated to the company's Mapleton, Illinois, foundry.
Caterpillar will try to help workers find jobs at other factories and will pay severance packages.
The Caterpillar plant in Franklin opened in the early 1990s.
Franklin is in Macon County, which had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in November, same as the state's rate.