Business

Deere: 82 layoffs in Davenport canceled

The John Deere logo is seen on earth moving tractors and equipment in this 2012 photo at a dealership in Mount Pulaski,
The John Deere logo is seen on earth moving tractors and equipment in this 2012 photo at a dealership in Mount Pulaski, Ill. (Associated Press)
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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says President Donald Trump’s economic policies hurt families in Iowa, and it is using Deere and Co.’s recent layoffs as an example.

But Deere officials since have confirmed 82 workers in Davenport will not face layoffs as previously announced.

The layoff notice still was available online Tuesday.

On June 29, Deere informed 82 workers at John Deere Davenport Works of layoffs effective Aug. 3, according to a company statement.

On July 16 and July 17, those workers were told “the layoffs will not take place,” Deere’s statement said.

The 35 layoffs at John Deere Waterloo Foundry — announced the same day — will go forward as planned, officials confirmed.

“Each John Deere factory continuously balances the size of its workforce with the needs of the individual factory and to optimize the workforce at each facility,” Deere officials said.

There are 859 active production employees and 317 salaried positions at Davenport Works, and 409 active production employees and 99 salaried workers at Waterloo Foundry, they said.

Deere officials did not say what changed to allow the retraction.

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Workers manufacture construction and forestry equipment at Davenport Works, a segment predicted to see a reduction in demand this year even before coronavirus hit.

“There’s no question that in a Trump economy, Iowa workers and families suffer — and it’s been going on well before the pandemic,” said Lauren Dillon, Biden for President Iowa state director.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party selection for November, expressed similar thoughts via a tweet in December 2019 when a previous round of 57 layoffs was announced for John Deere Davenport Works.

“It’s been just two months since John Deere laid off 160 workers in the Quad Cities in part because of President Trump’s reckless trade war — and now, a second round of layoffs is expected in the same community,” Biden tweeted in December.

The layoffs do not include salaried employees who took part in an earlier buyout round this year. Deere recently announced another round of those.

Deere is weathering a financial storm that includes two years of trade wars. Hope over a new trade agreement between the United States and China was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

In late May, Deere revealed net income was projected to fall $1 billion this year.

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