MOLINE, Ill. — The United Auto Workers union said “more than 10,000 Deer & Company employees went on strike at midnight Thursday after the company failed to present an agreement that met the demands and needs of our members.” Statement.
The union had said that its members would quit if no agreement was reached by 11:59 pm. other.
“The nearly one million UAW retired and active members who stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere,” said UAW President Ray Curry.
Thirty-five years have passed since the last major Deere strike, but this year workers were encouraged to demand more after working long hours during the pandemic and because companies are facing labor shortages.
“At John Deere, our members strike for their ability to live a decent life, retire with honor, and establish fair work rules,” said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of UAW’s Department of Agriculture Implementation. “We remain committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved.”
Chris Lawerson, who worked as a painter in Deere, Told the Des Moines Register That he thought a strike was imminent and could make a significant difference.
“The whole country is going to see us,” Lauerson told the newspaper. “If we take a stand here for ourselves, for our families, for basic human prosperity, it will make a difference for the entire manufacturing industry. Don’t be. Let us not be intimidated.”
Earlier this year, another group of UAW-represented workers Volvo Trucks went on strike at the plant In Virginia, three more wound up with better pay and lower-cost convalescence after rejecting temporary contract offers.
The contracts under negotiation include 14 Deere plants across the United States, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois, and one each in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.
Contract talks were unfolding at Moline, Illinois-based company as Deere expects to report record profits of between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion this year. The company is reporting strong sales of its agricultural and construction equipment this year.
Deere production plants are a significant contributor to the economy, so local officials expect any strike to be short-lived.
“We certainly want to see our economy stabilize and grow after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Molin Mayor Sangeeta Rayapati. told the Quad-Cities Times. “Hopefully, these parties can come to a resolution soon.”