A few days ago, 90% of Deere & Co. union workers rejected a tentative agreement that provided a paltry 20 cents an hour raise per year for six years.
Now, workers at the company, which made billions in profits last year, have gone on strike over their demands for fair pay.
“More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday, the first major walkout at the agricultural machinery giant in more than three decades.
The union had said its members would walk off the job if no deal has been reached by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The vast majority of the union rejected a contract offer earlier this week that would have delivered 5% raises to some workers and 6% raises to others at the Illinois company known for its green tractors.
‘The almost one million UAW retirees and active members stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere,’ UAW President Ray Curry said.
Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere, said in a statement that the company is “committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities and everyone involved.” He said Deere wants an agreement that would improve the economic position of all employees.
‘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,’ Morris said.
Thirty-five years have passed since the last major Deere strike, but workers were emboldened to demand more this year after working long hours throughout the pandemic and because companies are facing worker shortages.
‘Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,’ said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department. ‘We stay committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved.'”
For the rest of the story, visit the Associated Press here.