A 6-year contract agreement between John Deere and employees expires Friday
Quad Cities (KWQC) - A six-year contract agreement between John Deere and more than 10,000 employees will expire Friday.
The contract covers employees at 12 different Deere facilities in Iowa and Illinois.
Just two weeks ago, Deere employees demonstrated an informational picket, pushing for higher wages, lower copays, better seniority provisions, modifications to short-term disability and healthcare.
Twenty-year Deere employee Tim Niedert said if a tentative agreement is brought back Friday, United Auto Worker members will vote on it October 10th in a ratification meeting.
Several UAW members are saying they could take action if a new suitable agreement isn’t drawn up from Deere by Friday.
On Sept. 12, UAW voted to pass a strike authorization, with no indication on when they will strike, it just authorizes them to do so if they deem it necessary.
Niedert says the last time Deere employees went on strike was in 1986, that strike lasted for six months.
TV6′s Brittany Kyles reached out to John Deere after TV6 received several messages from employees, worried about being kicked out at the expiration of the contract.
“Through the negotiations, John Deere is committed to ensuring that our employees continue to have the best wages and most comprehensive benefits package in the agriculture and construction industries. We’re currently unable to comment, however, on the status of those negotiations,” John Deere officials said.
Niedert had this to say in response: “People are ready to take action, people are to the point where they’re not intimidated anymore.”
He went on to state a quote from Walter Reuther, a leader of organized labor and civil rights activist.
“Labor is not fighting for a larger slice of the national pie- labor is fighting for a larger pie.”
Upon the expiration of the contract, TV6 will keep you updated on-air and online with this story.
Copyright 2021 KWQC. All rights reserved.