John Deere has announced it will be moving part of its manufacturing operation from Waterloo, Iowa, to a production facility in Mexico no later than 2024.
Deere and Co. (DE-NYSE) confirmed that the Iowa Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations facility will be reorganized, with some new products being made there but cab manufacturing being moved to its Ramos Component Works facility in Mexico.
The company said the decision is being made so that it can “balance workforce needs within the tight labor market.” It says that the move will also “open up floor space” at its Iowa facility for new but undisclosed manufacturing projects. It said that an estimated 250 employees could be affected by the move, depending on ongoing production volumes and employee attrition before the move.
The Waterloo facility reportedly currently employs around 1,100 people.
United Auto Workers Local 838 president Tim Frickson told Breitbart News that the union does not want to see the jobs leaving Iowa or America. In October 2021, employees at 14 John Deere locations went on strike, demanding the company provide “the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules.”
The strike went on for a month until a collective bargaining agreement was reached. According to the UAW, the new deal included $8,500 signing bonuses and 20% increase in wages over the term of the new agreement. It also included new employee retirement options and additional performance-based benefits.
The UAW also said that 61% of John Deere employee union members voted in favor of the agreement to end the strike.
Federal labor statistics indicated that almost 109,000 Americans lost their jobs in 2020 as a result of free trade arrangements. Ford Motor Co. announced last year that it is changing the direction of a new $900 million manufacturing plant originally planned for Avon Lake, Ohio. Ford decided instead to take the manufacturing project to a location in Mexico.
The loss of manufacturing jobs takes a heavy toll on the U.S. economy, as analysis shows that every American manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 jobs domestically.
Deere and Co.’s stock price closed on Friday at $361.00 per share, up over 2% since announcing the manufacturing relocation to Mexico.