John Deere to lay off 300

Deere & Co. will lay off about 300 employees, close two plants and cut back production at a third as part of a streamlining effort, the company announced.


Deere will close facilities in Williamsburg, Va., and Jeffersonville, Ind., and reduce operations at Horicon, Wis., as part of an effort to lower costs in the company's commercial and consumer equipment division. The job cuts represent 7 percent of the division’s work force. The Williamsburg and Jeffersonville plants are expected to close by Oct. 31, the end of Deere’s fiscal year.


“While closing these locations is a necessary business decision, we remain committed to assist employees who are negatively affected by these actions,” said John Jenkins, president of the division. Some employees will be offered transfers and Jenkins says the company will assist other in finding job opportunities outside the company.


Employment at the Horicon plant will be reduced through a special retirement incentive, the company says, and about 100 jobs there will be transferred from Horicon to Fuquay-Varina, N.C.


Deere says these actions will result in pretax charges totaling $50 million over the third and fourth quarters.

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