A layout announcement several weeks ago has built up to today, when roughly 225 John Deere workers were to be unable to return to the machinery manufacturer’s Harvester Works plant in East Moline, Illinois. The layoffs have been called “indefinite” and affect about 10 percent of the site’s workforce.
Deere announced the layoffs in mid-September and pointed to today, Oct. 16 as the date they would formally begin. The factory has been in the midst of a “shutdown” period with no production going on since before the announcement, but work was supposed to restart there today, without those couple of hundred workers.
Things have been quiet from the company and across social media today. While there are still some questions for why the layoffs happened — especially as Deere has done significant hiring this year in the Quad Cites area and said that things were looking bright during a meeting in June — a report from KWQC news pointed to the potential of low yields this fall as a driving factor. The company was “working through adjustments to our MY24 production schedule,” according to a letter that had been sent out to employees.
This isn’t the first time Deere has made headlines recently. In 2021, UAW workers at Deere went on strike for over a month. Then, in 2022, the company announced that it would move cabs, welding, and assembly work from the Waterloo plant to a facility in Mexico.
This recent layoff announcement comes even after the company forecast net income for Deere & Company for Fiscal Year 2023 of $9.75 billion to $10 billion, increasing significantly from the same period last year.
Net sales and revenue increased 12 percent worldwide in the third quarter of 2023 and 24 percent for nine months.
Local news station WQAD said it received an email from Jen Hartmann, Deere’s director of public relations, in which she said, “Although John Deere has hired hundreds of employees in the Quad Cities in recent years, the company has consistently stated that each Deere factory balances the size of its production workforce with the needs of the individual factory to optimize the workforce at each facility.”
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Author: Ryan Tipps