Quad Cities-based Deere and Company reports a 320-million dollar loss for the 4th quarter and a 64-million dollar loss for the year. The announcement will mean jobs gained in Dubuque — and jobs lost in the Quad Cities. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says three factors are coming into play in the company’s worst financial year since 1991. He says a weakened economy, production cuts and some special charges taken by the company have all led to losses. Golden says though, they’re doing the right things to get ready for the future.A Deere news release blames “heightened customer anxiety” about the economy in general and following the September 11th attacks. Golden says Deere will be closing its Loudon, Tennessee, factory which makes skid steer loaders, where 420 people now work. Golden says some of those jobs — and some of the production work — will be moved to the Dubuque plant.It brings 300 jobs to Dubuque but they’re not new hires. Most of the new duties will be “absorbed” by the current staff. The transition will take place over the next several months and the Tennessee plant will close within the next year. Golden says the times are “tougher than expected” and cuts need to be made at Deere’s world headquarters, based in Moline, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from Davenport.Ten percent of the workforce in Moline, or 250 positions, will be cut, but it doesn’t necessarily mean 250 jobs will be lost. The company is trying to place many of those people in positions in other business units that have openings.
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