Eaton to Close Iowa Plant

Eaton to Close Iowa Plant

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — Eaton Corp. has announced that it will close its plant in the northwest Iowa community of Spencer, eliminating the plant’s remaining 140 jobs.

Eaton spokesman Jim Michels (MEYE’-kuhlz) says the job eliminations will begin in January and end with the plant closure in September.

“We met with employees to share that the company will be ceasing operations and closing the facility in Spencer by the end of the third quarter 2017,” Michels said.

Workers are being encouraged to apply at other Eaton plants. The other two in Iowa are in Belmond and Shenandoah.

He says the plant is a victim of the declining sales of agricultural equipment.

Michels also noted the Spencer facility supplies a lot of products for combines. “And as of the end of September 2016, North American combine sales were down 26.5 percent compared to September 2015 and year-to-date down 20.4 percent,” Michels said.

Eaton makes hydraulic pumps and motors at the Spencer plant, which opened in 1974. It employed as many as 800 people some 35 years ago, making it Spencer’s biggest employer.

Eaton Corp. is based in Dublin, Ireland, and reported 2015 sales of $20.9 billion to customers in more than 175 countries.

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