The Republic staff reports

Cummins Inc. is looking for 350 southern Indiana hourly workers to take a voluntary retirement package by mid-February.

Approximately 700 employees are eligible for the program and the company will accept up to 350 voluntary retirement applications, according to a company press release.

The company will wait to see how many applications it receives, before any decision is made on whether layoffs will be needed, said Mark Land, Cummins spokesman.

Workers in southern Indiana with 30 years of service, or who are at least 55 years old with a minimum of 10 years of service are eligible to apply for the program.

Eligible employees have until 5 p.m. Feb. 13 to accept the offer. It is expected that most of the employees who receive the retirement package will leave the Company by March 1.

"The demand for our engines and related products continues to fall, and despite the significant steps already taken to align our costs with that demand, permanent job reductions have become necessary,'" said Jim Kelly, president of the engine business.

"This action is the next step in our "rings of defense" approach to reducing costs."

Since the beginning of the fourth quarter, Cummins has announced job reductions affecting more than 1,400 salaried workers and approximately 1,000 hourly workers worldwide.

Other cost-cutting efforts have included:

  • Cutting 2,500 contract and temporary workers

  • Halting hiring, except in rare cases

  • Freezing salaries for professional employees

  • Reducing officers' salaries by 10 percent for 2009

  • Shortening work weeks at a number of manufacturing facilities

  • Closing manufacturing and distributor facilities

  • Cutting discretionary spending

  • Reducing capital spending in the fourth quarter 2008 and in 2009

    Cummins employs about 2,800 hourly workers in southern Indiana and about 6,200 people in Indiana.

  • © 2023 The Republic