Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer announced layoffs today at two plants in the state. Deere and Company informed 115 workers in Waterloo and 30 in Davenport they will be placed on indefinite layoff by the end of September. Tom Ralston is president of UAW Local 838 in Waterloo.
“It’s really a sad day. We hate when this kind of stuff happens,” Ralston told Radio Iowa. “Unfortunately, it’s been a little more commonplace over the last few years than anybody would like to see.”
On Friday, Deere released its third-quarter financial report — showing a drop in sales and net income for the Quad Cities based company. Deere officials credit the lackluster farm economy. The layoffs should surprise no one, according to Ralston.
“It was a shock, but I don’t think it was a surprise,” Ralston said. “We all know that we’re slow, but it’s always shocking when it finally happens.” Around 660 Deere workers in Waterloo are still on indefinite layoff from following major workforce reductions announced over the last two years.
“Most of these people affected in today’s layoffs had been affected by one of the previous layoffs and were called back to work…now they’re being re-laid off,” Ralston said. The affected employees last working day in Waterloo is September 23. The last day for the Davenport workers is September 30.