UPDATE: Deere & Co. provides new information about Waterloo lay - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Deere & Co. provides new information about Waterloo layoffs

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Ron Steele contributed to this story

About 460 John Deere employees in Waterloo have been told they're out of a job indefinitely. KWWL has learned which Cedar Falls facilities will be impacted.

Deere & Co. says most of the layoffs will come from two Waterloo locations: About 240 jobs will be cut in Tractor Cab Assembly Operations and 195 layoffs will be made in Drivetrain Operations. The company says there were also some employees affected in Service Parts Operations, Engine Works and the Product Engineering Center.

Employees were told on Friday morning. Deere says the indefinite layoffs are effective October 20th.

Last week, Deere & Company announced that hundreds of manufacturing jobs would be cut.  More than 600 jobs would be affected at four locations:  John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, IL; John Deere Seeding and Cylinder in Moline, IL; John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, IA and John Deere Coffeyville in Coffeyville, KS. At the time, the company said no other locations were affected.  Deere said layoffs are needed in response to the current market demand for its products.

Ken Golden, Director of Global Public Relations, says that even though the Waterloo operations have had occasional seasonal shutdowns, there has not been an indefinite layoff in Waterloo since 1999.

Employees who are laid off are eligible for Iowa unemployment benefits as long as they meet the state's eligibility requirements.

Hints of the layoffs could be seen in the company's quarterly financial report, which came out earlier this week.

In that report, Deere reported quarterly earnings of $850 million. While that was better that Wall Street expectations, the earnings were far lower than a year ago, when Deere had earnings of $ 996 million in the same quarter.

Despite the 15 percent decline in quarterly earnings, Deere is still predicting a fiscal year profit of $ 3.1 billion.

For the year, Deere is predicting a decline of 10-per cent in its US and Canada Agriculture and turf equipment sales. Sales of Deere tractors and combines in South America are expected to drop 15 per cent for the year.

Commodity prices have been declining in recent months and the United States Department of Agriculture is predicting farm income to be at its lowest point in the past four years.

A bright spot for Deere has been in its Construction and forestry sales, which increased 19 per cent in the most recent quarter.

NEWS RELEASE FROM THE COMPANY:

Deere & Company announced today that it will place approximately 460 employees who work in the company's Waterloo, Iowa operations on indefinite layoff in response to current market demand for its products. Deere said employees were informed today of the layoffs, which are effective October 20th.

“Layoffs are never easy because we understand the significant impact this action has on our employees, their families, and the community” said Dave DeVault, factory manager. “We very carefully assess our workforce requirements to ensure we make the best possible decision to respond to various market conditions.”

When Deere announced third quarter earnings on August 13th, the company said it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the balance of the year.

Deere has emphasized that the company must match the size of its manufacturing workforce with market demand to remain globally competitive. Deere had hired several hundred manufacturing employees in recent years to meet increased demand for products manufactured in its Midwest U.S. factories. 
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