Earlier this month, John Deere announced another 57 workers at the Davenport plant would be laid off, effective 6 January. According to a company spokesperson, 23 workers in Des Moines were terminated as well, effective 15 December.
The job cuts have come as demand for farming equipment shrinks in the midst of a trade war between the United States and China. In response to trade tariffs imposed on China by the Trump administration, China retaliated by halting or reducing purchases of soybean, corn and other agricultural products. A ceasefire has now been called – but it’s too late for many workers.
“We were affected by these trade policies. It gives a sense of uncertainty in the economy,” said Buckles. “It’s rough on families, especially around the holidays. John Deere is one of the major employers in this area. The odds of finding something comparable to it are probably non-existent, but I can always try to hope.”