More than 10,000 John Deere workers will remain on strike. Fifty-five percent of UAW members have rejected a second contract offer from Deere & Co.
The strike at John Deere began in mid-October, after 90% of UAW members voted to reject Deere’s first offer. The second offer would have provided 10% raises this year, with 5% raises in the third and fifth year of the six-year-long contract.
Slim majorities of UAW members at John Deere plants in Ankeny, Davenport and Ottumwa voted to approve the new contract, but union members at the two largest plants in Iowa rejected the offer — 71% of workers at the Waterloo plant and 64% of UAW members at the Dubuque plant voted no.
This is the first strike at John Deere in 35 years and comes as the world’s leading farm equipment maker ends its fiscal year with record profits. In a written statement, Deere’s chief administrative officer said the offer would have “significantly enhanced wages and benefits.” The UAW issued a short statement, saying the strike will continue as union representatives “discuss next steps with the company.”
While production and maintenance employees at a dozen John Deere facilities in the Midwest rejected the contract offer in today’s voting, union worker at parts facilities in Atlanta and Deere accepted a similar contract offer from Deere.