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Deere lays off 115 in Waterloo, 30 in Quad Cities

(KCRG)
Published: Aug. 22, 2016 at 10:42 AM CDT
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145 employees at Deere and Company in Waterloo and Davenport learned today they will be laid off but the news did not come as a shock to most experts.

Deere is laying off 115 workers at its Waterloo Works and 30 at its Davenport Works that they will be placed on indefinite layoff effective later next month.

Deere said in a media statement the actions tie into Friday's lackluster earnings report an that it "continues to adjust the size of the company’s production workforce to meet market demand for products manufactured at each of its factories."

Friday's Third Quarter report showed expected decreases in sales amid lower crop prices. Those lower prices leave farmers with less money to spend on new tractors or combines.

UAW Local 838 representatives and company officials met with the affected workers this morning.

"It wasn't a complete surprise but it is disappointing," said Local 838 President Tom Ralston.

Ralston says his office knew in advance that layoffs were coming, per the union contract, but did not know the exact number until this morning. He says the down ag economy has forced him to do more of these types of meetings recently.

"We know how slow it has been but we were hoping we had the right balance to avoid this," Ralston said. "We are directly tied to the farm industry and it's slow across ag not just Deere"

Local 838 says it will meet with employees to go over benefits and bring in outside groups to help laid off workers get help finding other jobs.

"These are some of the best workers out there if anyone is looking to expand or hire new workers," said Ralston.