Deere and Company is announcing another “restructuring” today that will effect nearly two thousand workers globally, about one hundred of them in the Quad Cities. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says the company is getting out of the Homelite consumer products division and will rebuild its construction and forestry divisions.Deere is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer but -NO- Iowa factories will be directly impacted by today’s announcement. Golden says some Deere facilities will be sold or closed in both Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia, Canada and Mexico. The Homelite announcement targets consumer products like chain saws, trimmers and blowers. Golden says Homelite “lost a significant amount of money” in 2000 and is losing a lot of money in 2001.The marketing arm of Deere’s construction and forestry divisions is located in the Quad Cities and many of those jobs will be eliminated. He says it could be around one hundred jobs lost but couldn’t be precise as the company is also in the midst of an early retirement drive. Golden was asked if this is like pruning a tree — cutting away problem limbs so the entire tree can benefit and grow.The Homelite division lost about 70-million dollars last year and about 30-million through the first nine months of fiscal 2001.
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