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John Deere Announces Layoffs While Moving Production Abroad

John Deere announced Friday that it would lay off about 610 workers at three plants in Illinois and Iowa, Fox News reported.

The agricultural machinery giant plans to lay off hundreds of employees due to falling demand for its products, with all layoffs taking effect on August 30th. according to The move will reportedly affect 280 employees at the company's East Moline, Illinois, plant, 230 employees at its Davenport, Iowa, plant and about 100 employees at its Dubuque, Iowa, facility.

The company will reportedly offer affected employees supplemental unemployment benefits covering approximately 95% of their weekly wages for up to 26 weeks, depending on their years of service. In addition, they will reportedly receive profit-sharing options and health insurance. The layoffs were initially sent to employees in a company-wide email on May 31, according to a Reddit user. Claimed.

John Deere cited lower operating costs and market demand as reasons for the job cuts, despite forecasting a profit of $10.166 billion for 2023, Fox News reported.

“Deere's management confirmed recently that rising operating costs and declining market demand have necessitated enterprise-wide changes to how we do business in order to achieve our goals and best position the company for the future,” a John Deere statement said, according to Fox News.

The job cuts are reportedly part of a broader strategy to optimize operations amid a changing business environment. On May 31, John Deere announced plans to move production of skid steers and compact track loaders from Dubuque, Iowa, to Mexico by the end of 2026 in an effort to address rising manufacturing costs and improve efficiency, the media reported. (Related article: Job gains exceed expectations despite mass layoffs)

According to Fox News, the company has previously laid off workers at various plants, with around 500 laid off at its Waterloo, Iowa, facility alone. John Deere workers at the Harvester Works plant in East Moline spoke to the Guardian about their concerns about the frequency of layoff announcements, attributing it to corporate greed.

A green John Deere 5115 ML tractor parked on a farm under a clear blue sky in Brentwood, California on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

“There are rumours of redundancies every day, which is creating uncertainty on all fronts,” said a worker who asked not to be named. Said The Guardian: “The only reason Dia would do something like this is greed.”

Amid these organizational changes, John Deere has a market capitalization of about $102.81 billion and reported net income of $4.121 billion in the first half of this year, Fox News reported. However, the company has reportedly twice lowered its 2024 profit forecast, citing lower crop prices and an oversupplied market that is expected to reduce sales of large farm equipment.

The challenges for the agriculture sector are further highlighted by USDA projections predicting a 25.5% decline in farm income in 2024 compared to 2023, according to Fox News.

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