John Deere to let go 600 workers in four Midwest locations

Aug 18, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of farm equipment (John Deere), recently announced that it will lay off 600 workers at four Midwest factories, citing the weakening demand for its green equipment.

It said that worldwide sales of farm equipment declined by 6 percent for its fiscal third quarter, noting that the biggest decline is being felt in the U.S. and Canada. The layoff announcement was made following Deere’s third quarter earnings, when the company said it would cut its agricultural equipment making in its fourth quarter.

Farm machinery sales are expected to drop 10 percent for the year in the U.S. and Canada, stay flat in Asia and fall about 5 percent in the European Union, while sales of tractors and combines combined are expected to fall 15 percent in South America. In addition, Deere believes that worldwide sales of its turf equipment will likely decline about 10 percent. 

“The company must align the size of its manufacturing workforce with market demand for products,” Deere said in a release, adding that it had hired additional manufacturing staff in recent years to meet the growing demand for products made in its Midwest U.S. locations.

The affected facilities include, John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois, John Deere Seeding and Cylinder in Moline, Illinois, John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny in Iowa, and John Deere Coffeyville in Coffeyville, Kansas. Deere says no other locations other than the ones mentioned are affected.

Deere is also executing seasonal and inventory adjustment shutdowns and temporary dismissals at several of the affected factories previously mentioned. But the company was clear saying that the 600 staff are on “indefinite” layoff.

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