First Strike in 35 Years Looms as John Deere, UAW Can’t Reach Deal
It's been 35 years since the picket lines were formed outside of John Deere. At midnight tonight (10/23/21) that could be changing.
More than 10,000 workers at 14 plants across the United States, including seven in Iowa and four in Illinois, are waiting to see if negotiations between the union and John Deere will come to an agreement. The deal that was put in front of the union and voted on over the weekend, was rejected by 90% of the union membership according to UAW Vice President Chuck Browning.
From Fox Business, the contract would have delivered immediate 5% raises for some workers and 6% raises for others depending on their positions within Deere's factories. The pact also called for 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.
By the end of this fiscal year, Deere is projected to report nearly $6 billion in profits. Deere's previous record was 60% less than that figure set in 2013. During the pandemic, CEO John May's salary rose to $15.6 million.
Workers at John Deere have reached out to the station with notes of solidarity. "Shoutout to the 783 at Deere! Know your worth and hold the line." came in from one listener. Another from the 281 read "Holding it down till Deere pays us. F*^k Deere!".
Emotions are running high as 10,000 families are fighting for their future but also fighting for their money now. If the strike takes place, the striking workers will still earn money, but it will be a fraction of what they make now. Around $275 a week according to one employee. With costs of living rising the workers are looking for their fair share now, but also want to make sure they are taken care of in the future. One of the items on the table is pension and retirement healthcare.
You will probably notice friends of yours on Facebook that work at Deere are changing their profile pics to a UAW logo. It sounds like you may see more of those soon, and may see more pictures from the picket lines outside of John Deere.