The move will affect up to 250 jobs
By Diego Flammini
An ag equipment manufacturer has revealed plans to move parts of its tractor manufacturing operations south of the U.S. border.
John Deere cited two reasons for its decision to move tractor cab manufacturing from Waterloo, Iowa to its components plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico during the 2024 fiscal year.
"The decision to move cab production ensures the company can balance workforce needs within the tight labor market, while also ensuring Waterloo can open up floor space to manufacture new products," the company said in a statement.
It’s unclear what new products may replace the tractor cab manufacturing.
The plant in Waterloo employs about 3,400 people. Of that number, 1,100 work in tractor cab assembly operations.
This facility produces 6R, 7R, 8R/8RT, and 9R/9RT/9RX tractors.
The company conceded the move could affect up to 250 jobs.
Any number of lost jobs isn’t good news, said Tim Frickson, president of United Auto Workers Local 838.
"We don't want to see the jobs leave the Waterloo area, we don't want to see the jobs leave the U.S.," Frickson said, KWWI reported.
Manufacturers choosing Mexico over the United States in some instances isn’t new.
In 2021, for example, Ford cancelled a $900 million investment into its car manufacturing facility in Avon Lake, Ohio, and moved those jobs and opportunities to Mexico.