WATERLOO, Iowa — John Deere has announced that 115 employees in Waterloo, Iowa, and another 30 at the Davenport, Iowa, facility are being placed on indefinite layoff by the end of September, according to a story on WCFcourier.com.
The announcement came after company officials recently announced a 10th consecutive quarter of declining year-over-year earnings and noted a sustained agricultural downturn "has been most pronounced in the sale of higher-horsepower models," which are made in Waterloo.
"It isn't just Deere," Niedert said, noting other ag equipment manufacturers and dealers "have a high inventory right now" in proportion to product demand.
Niedert said some workers had already been on temporary layoff, as company officials tried to adjust production to meet demand. The Deere-UAW contract allows temporary-layoff "inventory adjustment shutdowns" under which workers could be idled up to 16 weeks in a production year. These layoffs, however, are indefinite.
UAW Local 838 President Tom Ralston said 663 Deere Waterloo workers are still on indefinite layoff following a pair of major workforce reductions announced in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015 that initially idled about 1,000 people. Some workers have been called back since then and subsequent layoffs were announced but did not occur.
Workers affected by the current layoff are at other facilities in town, including tractor cab assembly on East Donald Street and drive train operations along Westfield Avenue near downtown, among others. Foundry operations function separately, with a separate seniority list.
"Deere continues to adjust the size of the company’s production workforce to meet market demand for products manufactured at each of its factories," company officials said in the layoff announcement issued from company headquarters in Moline, Ill. "Today’s actions are consistent with projections that were communicated when Deere announced its third quarter results on Friday."
In the company's Friday earnings release, Deere officials said the company's worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment would decrease by about 8% for fiscal-year 2016. Industry sales for agricultural equipment in the U.S. and Canada were forecast to be down 15-20% for 2016.