MOLINE, ILL – Following a strike from employees, John Deere has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers for a new labor contract. Fox News reports that while the agreement must receive approval from UAW workers to take effect, John Deere officials said in an emailed statement that the agreement would last six years for the union’s “10,100 production and maintenance employees at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.”
The statement also noted that Deere and the UAW 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.”
The John Deere strike has had producers and implement dealers worried. While many say they sympathize with the desire for better wages, they are facing equipment and parts shortages. A long strike could affect the food supply chain and their bottom lines.
In October, UWA members walked off the job at John Deere plants in several states after rejecting the agriculture equipment giant’s latest contract offer, which included 5% raises for some workers and 6% raises for others, with 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.
John Deere spokeswoman Jennifer Hartmann told FOX Business that while “reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the UAW” is important, the company’s “immediate concern is meeting the needs of our customers who work in time-sensitive and critical industries such as agriculture and construction.”
Deere workers who went on strike pointed to the company’s record profits and argued that their dedication and hard work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic should earn them more than what their employer brought to the table last week, with more than 90% rejecting the original tentative deal.