Deere employees reject contract offer, will stay on strike

Workers have been on strike since Oct. 14

The striking workers at Deere & Co. on Tuesday rejected a contract offer from the company that would have given them 10% pay increases and said they will remain on strike.

The rejected deal that was reached over the weekend contained raises twice as large as the ones in the original offer. United Auto Workers union members rejected that one last month.

Workers have been on strike since Oct. 14.

The benefits would have also provided an $8,500 ratification bonus, preserved a pension option for new employees, made workers eligible for health insurance sooner and maintained their no-premium health insurance coverage.
The disputed contract covers more than 10,000 Deere workers at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.

A smaller group of about 100 workers at two Deere facilities in Colorado and Georgia voted to accept an identical deal.

The union said 55% of its members at the 12 main plants voted against this latest contract offer Tuesday.

Last month, 90% of union members also rejected a proposed contract that included immediate 5% raises for some workers and 6% for others, and 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.

Deere officials said they were disappointed the agreement was voted down.

“Through the agreements reached with the UAW, John Deere would have invested an additional $3.5 billion in our employees, and by extension, our communities, to significantly enhance wages and benefits that were already the best and most comprehensive in our industries,” said Marc A. Howze, Deere’s chief administrative officer. “This investment was the right one for Deere, our employees, and everyone we serve together.”

Sales have been strong at the Moline, Illinois-based company this year as the economy continued to recover from the pandemic. Deere has predicted it will report record profits this year between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion.


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