John Deere to call back some laid off workers to Waterloo plant

Updated Jun 26, 2015
John Deere’s 9620R wheeled tractor scraper system.John Deere’s 9620R wheeled tractor scraper system.

John Deere has announced that it will ask between 50 and 60 workers laid off earlier this year at its Waterloo, Iowa, plant  back to work.

According to a report from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, the callbacks will be made based on seniority and many of the workers receiving calls are likely working at other Deere plants.

In January, the heavy equipment manufacturer announced it would layoff 910 employees across five agricultural equipment factories in Iowa and Illinois in an effort to cut costs to an ongoing global farming slowdown. Another 500 employees were put on an “extended inventory adjustment shutdown,” but were expected to be back to work this summer.

Deere saw profit fall 11 percent in fiscal year 2014 with sales dipping 5 percent to $35 billion due to the ag slowdown. Second quarter sales were down 18 percent with profit down 30 percent.

Construction and forestry equipment has been the company’s lone area of growth in the past year with a 71-percent increase in operating profit during 2014 to $648 million and 2 percent sales increased during the second quarter. Because of that growth the company added 220 jobs at its Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa, facilities where this equipment is made.

The Courier reports workers at the Dubuque and Davenport plants receiving callbacks for Waterloo may choose to stay put. However, if they choose to do so, they will lose their spots at Waterloo.