Photo: Scott Olson / Getty
MOLINE, ILLINOIS, October 14, 2021 ~ Thursday, more than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike in the first major walkout for the machinery company in more than 30 years.
The walkout follows a Wednesday statement from the union, saying the members would walk off the job site if no deal had been reached Wednesday regarding raises for employees.
“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity, and establish fair work rules,” said UAW Vice President Chuck Browning. “We stay committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved.”
The majority of the union rejected a contract offer which would have delivered an immediate five to six percent raise for workers depending on position in the company. The contract also called for three percent raises in 2023 and 2025.
“The tentative agreement reached by the UAW and John Deere was rejected this evening by a majority of 90% of the membership,” said Browning.
The contract talks started as a result of strong sales this year. Deere reported nearly $4.7 billion in net income for the first nine months of the fiscal year, more than double over the $1.993 reported only a year prior.
“We will keep working day and night to understand our employees’ priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve,” said Deere & Co. Labor Relations Vice President Brad Morris.
This comes during a nationwide authorized strike from over 100,000 unionized employees across Hollywood, and Kaiser Permanente nurses, plus John Deere workers, who are preparing to join the picket unless stronger collective bargaining agreements are reached.