Business

Deere to lay off workers in Waterloo, Davenport

Double whammy of virus, trade war hurting demand

Jeremy Spore attaches parts to a tractor chassis in December 2016 at the Deere & Co. plant in Waterloo. The company is l
Jeremy Spore attaches parts to a tractor chassis in December 2016 at the Deere & Co. plant in Waterloo. The company is laying off 35 workers at its Waterloo plant and 82 at it Davenport plant. (Brandon Pollock/Waterloo Courier)

Deere & Co. is laying off 117 workers at its Davenport and Waterloo plants.

Deere informed the workers June 29 of the layoffs, as required by the Iowa Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN,

The layoffs affect 82 workers in Davenport, effective Aug. 2, and 35 in Waterloo, effective Aug. 3.

The Waterloo workers produce agriculture equipment, and the Davenport workers manufacture construction and forestry equipment.

This is the latest in a string of layoffs by Moline, Ill.-based Deere in the last year.

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic compounded the financial hits the company and its customers were taking in the trade war between the U.S. and China.

WARN data shows the Davenport Works has lost 252 jobs in the past year, 264 jobs at the Dubuque Works and 77 jobs in Waterloo.

Deere paused operations at its Davenport Works and Dubuque Works, both construction and forestry manufacturing sites, from May 11 to May 26.

That two-week suspension was due to supply chain disruptions and “weakened demand of construction and forestry equipment amidst the COVID-19 global health crisis,” Deere said in a statement at the time.

Deere also has rolled out its second salaried employee buyout program, announced just days before the layoff notice for Davenport and Waterloo production workers. The first one was completed in January.

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In a financial earnings call in late May, Deere revealed it is projecting $1 billion less in income for its current fiscal year.

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