Just a day after reporting record quarterly profits, Deere and Company has announced layoffs at its combine plant in the Quad Cities. Company spokesman, Ken Golden, says about 120 jobs will be cut at the John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline.
He says their projections show ag equipment sales will be down five to 10 percent in the U.S. and Canada, and will also be down in all worldwide markets. “The impact of this kind of news, when we believe the markets are decreasing, is that we have to balance the size of the workforce,” Golden says. “This is never easy, this is always tough.”
About 2,000 people work in production at the Harvester Works, and the layoffs will be based on seniority. “We really try very hard to communicate with our employees about the fact that there has to be this flexibility in the workforce. And I believe people are taking jobs with the knowledge that they’re going to be the first ones laid off if times turn to a negative,” Golden says. “We are hopeful that although this is an indefinite layoff, some of the people will be called back if the market conditions do change.”
Golden also says over the last three years, Deere has added 450 jobs at the Harvester Works. Total employment at Deere’s East Moline combine plant is currently around 2,800. The layoffs will take effect on March 31st.