AGRICULTURAL machinery maker Deere to cut 1,250 jobs, offers early retirement to 2,500 - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

AGRICULTURAL machinery maker Deere to cut 1,250 jobs, offers early retirement to 2,500

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) _ Deere & Co. is cutting 1,250 jobs by offering a voluntary early retirement program, a move the machinery maker says will save $90 million a year.

Moline-based Deere said Thursday that the early retirement option _ which will reduce its work force by about 8 percent _ will be offered to about 2,500 salaried employees. Those who accept will leave the company by the end of the year.

``The special early retirement offer is a part of ... ongoing efforts to run lean and enhance our efficiency, competitiveness and financial strength for future growth opportunities,'' Robert W. Lane, Deere's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

The cuts were to be expected after the company had warned investors in May to expect earnings shortfalls, said Alexander Blanton, an analyst for Ingalls & Snyder LLC.

The targeted jobs are all administrative, from secretarial to midlevel management, and most are in Moline-Rock Island and Waterloo, Iowa, Deere spokesman Ken Golden said.

Deere is one of the world's largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery, including John Deere tractors. It also manufactures and distributes equipment for construction, forestry and public works and produces commercial and consumer equipment.
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