John Deere Faces Backlash Over Layoffs and Mexico Move

Mladen Stankovic /

In a move highlighting corporate self-interest over employee welfare, John Deere has announced the termination of 610 jobs across its Illinois and Iowa plants. They blame “declining demand,” but we all know it’s about boosting profits.


Want more proof? While John Deere swings the layoff axe, they’re also packing their bags for Mexico. Despite swimming in a $10.166 billion profit in 2023, they’re crying about costs and market dips, all while conveniently forgetting about the folks they’re tossing out on the street. Because, you know, profit and efficiency come first—humanity, not so much.


This decision affects 280 employees in East Moline, 230 in Davenport, and 100 Dubuque. The company’s attempt to soften the blow includes a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit covering 95% of weekly net pay for up to 26 weeks, profit-sharing options, and health benefits. However, these measures seem hollow to workers who received the news via an impersonal company-wide email on May 31.


This wave of layoffs is seen as part of a broader strategy to streamline operations amid changing economic conditions. Workers, understandably, are not buying into the company’s rationale. At the Harvester Works plant in East Moline, concerns over frequent layoff announcements are rife, with employees anonymously accusing John Deere of blatant corporate greed.


“It’s all about greed,” lamented one worker, reflecting a growing sentiment among disillusioned employees. Despite boasting a market capitalization of $102.81 billion and a reported net income of $4.121 billion in the first half of the year, John Deere’s decision-making is increasingly viewed as disconnected from the well-being of its workforce.


The agricultural sector is currently facing a set of challenges, including a projected substantial 25.5% decrease in farm income for 2024. Despite these challenges, John Deere continues to generate billions in revenue while many workers find themselves facing unemployment.