Deere Recalls 350 to East Moline Combine Plant
MOLINE, Ill. (AP) _ Deere & Co. has recalled more than 350 laid-off workers to its combine factory in East Moline as the plant steps up production to equal retail demand, a company spokesman says.
Spokesman Bob Shoup said Tuesday most of those recalled were laid off 18 months to two years ago.
The plant has been producing fewer combines than farmers were buying at the retail level for about the past two years, Shoup said. He said the lower production was part of a company drive to cut bloated inventories while demand was slack.
″Now we’ve got our combine inventory at a level we’re more satisfied with,″ said Shoup.
He said a recent five-month strike against Deere by the United Auto Workers, which shut down production at the company’s 13 agricultural machinery factories in Iowa and Illinois, helped reduce Deere’s inventory of combines more rapidly than otherwise would have occurred.
Further recalls of workers will depend on market trends, Shoup said.
Greg Krouth of UAW Local 865 said 359 workers were called back to work on Monday shifts, bringing the plant’s workforce to about 1,900 people.
About 900 UAW members remain on indefinite layoff status from the plant, Krouth said.