UAW Members to Vote Again on Ending Deere Strike

10K workers have been off the job for a month
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2021 3:15 PM CST
UAW Members to Vote Again on Ending Deere Strike
Members of the United Auto Workers picket outside a John Deere plant in Ankeny, Iowa, on Oct. 20.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

For the third time, Deere & Co. and United Auto Workers negotiators have agreed on tentative contract that could end a monthlong strike. The new deal, announced Friday night, makes changes to the proposal UAW members rejected on Nov. 2, the New York Times reports, by a 55%-45% margin. That vote was closer than the one on the first proposed contract last month. Workers walked off the job on Oct. 14 after rejecting a contract with 5% raises for some workers and 6% ones for others. The agriculture equipment maker has said it's made its "last, best and final offer," per the AP.

Deere's most recent proposal was for an immediate 10% increase in hourly pay and a $8,500 bonus for each worker. Pay increases of 5% in 2023 and 2025 were included, as well as lump-sum payments in three other years of the six-year contract. The company said that added up to a $3.5 billion compensation commitment. Employees say Deere should share more of its profits, per the Wall Street Journal, given that its farm and construction equipment sales are booming and other manufacturers are doing more to attract workers in a tight labor market.

Union members said the improved financial condition of Deere made this the time to push for better pay and benefits. The company, based in Moline, Illinois, forecasts income for its full fiscal year around $5.8 billion, after posting $2.8 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion in 2019. The UAW did not say when members will be briefed on the proposal, but the vote is scheduled for Wednesday. The company did not immediately comment Saturday. The contract would cover 10,000 employees at 12 locations in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. (More Deere and Co stories.)

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