Volcano impacts John Deere production in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volcano impacts John Deere production in Waterloo


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The erupting Icelandic volcano is causing troubles the world over. Travelers have been stranded in European airports since the ash began billowing last week. Wednesday was the first day since April 15th that planes have taken off from airports in London, England.

Now the workers in Eastern Iowa are feeling the cloud's impact. As a staple of the community for nearly a century, John Deere Green employs thousands of workers in Waterloo.

Employees on one tractor assembly line at the Westfield plant were prepared for a week-long layoff, But they were planning their time off to begin next Monday. Now the volcano in Iceland is forcing them to wrap up the workweek early. Their five days off will begin on Thursday.

The tractors are assembled in Waterloo, but many parts are actually built in Europe. With flights on hold, required parts are sitting there while others are backing up in Iowa.

Spokesperson Ken Golden said responding to a delay is not unusual. They shut down lines from time to time to balance out production.

Golden could not answer exactly how many workers were told to stay home for the next week. He want to make clear -- only one production line is laid off, and only at the Westfield plant. They can expect to be back on the job next Thursday. Other employees are not affected.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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