UAW votes down contract extension with Deere & Co., strike continues

55% of participating members voted against accepting the latest offer
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:58 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) – United Auto Workers union members voted not to accept a contract agreement with Deere & Co. Tuesday, continuing their strike against the company.

According to a post from UAW Local 281 on Facebook, 55 percent of all UAW members involved voted “no” to the agreement.

In a release, Deere & Co. stated:

“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. This investment was the right one for Deere, our employees, and everyone we serve together. Even though it would have created greater competitive challenges within our industries, we had faith in our employees’ ability to sharpen our competitive edge. With the rejection of the agreement covering our Midwest facilities, we will execute the next phase of our Customer Service Continuation Plan.”

Marc A. Howze, Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer for Deere

The company and the union on Saturday confirmed that they had reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year labor agreement.

The proposed contract would have covered approximately 10,100 production and maintenance employees at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.

They also reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year labor agreement covering nearly 100 production and maintenance employees at Deere parts facilities in Denver and Atlanta.

According to documents released by the union, the proposed contract included general wage increases starting at 10% for the first year. No changes were made to health insurance costs.

According to the documents, the agreement also included a retirement bonus for those who have worked at Deere & Co. for 10 or more years. Union workers who work between 10 and 24 years will receive a $37,500 bonus while those who work 25+ years will receive $50,000, according to the document.

On Oct. 10, the union rejected a proposed six-year collective bargaining agreement. The union began to strike on Oct. 14 and has continued to picket facilities ever since.

This is a developing story. TV6 will provide updates on-air and online.

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