HomeAmericaThousands of John Deere employees went on strike over contracts.

Thousands of John Deere employees went on strike over contracts.

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Credit…Stephanie Reynolds for The New York Times

Some 10,000 unionized workers at farm equipment maker Deere & Co went on strike early Thursday after negotiators for the United Automobile Workers union overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer worked out with the company.

“At John Deere our members strike for their ability to live a decent life, retire with honors, and establish fair work rules,” said Chuck Browning, director of the union’s Department of Agriculture. a statement. “We remain committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved.”

NS strike deadline It was announced on Sunday after the union said its members had not voted. temporary settlement Arrived on October 1st with the company, which manufactures the John Deere brand of tractors. Union negotiators described the proposal as providing “significant economic benefits” and “the highest quality health care benefits in the industry”.

But the workers, which are spread across about a dozen facilities primarily in Iowa and Illinois, criticized the deal for insufficiently increasing pay, denying new workers a traditional pension and a substantial incentive program. For failing to improve what they consider to be overly clingy.

“We’ve never stacked the deck in our profits,” said Chris Lawerson, an employee at the John Deere plant in Otumwa, Iowa, who until recently was president of his local.

Mr. Lawson cited the profitability of Deere & Co. – which is on record-setting pace about $6 billion This fiscal year – as well as relatively high agricultural commodity prices and supply-chain constraints that result from the pandemic as a source of leverage for workers.

“The company is reaping such rewards, but we are fighting to pieces here,” he said.

The strike comes at a time when many employers across the country are grappling with labor shortage and workers. look more interested To take strike and other labor action.

Last week, cereal maker Kellogg’s had more than 1,000 employees, went on strike, and Oreos creator Mondelez International experienced a work stop this summer. Activists have launched a high profile union campaign heroine And starbucks.

Down temporary dealWages would have increased by 5 or 6 percent this year, depending on an employee’s pay grade, and then an additional 3 percent each in 2023 and 2025.

Traditional pension benefits would have increased but remained significantly lower for workers hired after 1997 than before, and many workers were disappointed to see them cut for new hires, Mr. Lawson said.

A series of scandals in recent years have resulted in a skepticism over negotiations between rank and file activists towards the international union. corruption within the union and illegal payments from executives in the company, then known as Fiat Chrysler, to union officials.

scams led more than 15 sentences, including two recent UAW presidents.

Credit…Gilles Sabri for The New York Times

Chinese officials on Wednesday announced a national rush to mines and burn more coal, despite their previous promises to curb emissions Climate change.

Mines that were closed without permission have been ordered to be reopened. Coal mines that were closed for repairs and coal-fired power plants are also to be reopened. A draft tax incentive for coal-fired power plants is being drafted. Regulators have ordered Chinese banks to provide substantial credit to the coal sector.

“We will make every effort to increase coal production and supply,” said Zhao Chenxin, general secretary of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, at a news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.

The change is a response to the country’s power shortage, and how soon how much coal can be mined and burned will help decide whether Beijing can deliver the strong economic growth that Chinese people have been hoping for in the coming months. .

The rationing of electricity appears to have reduced somewhat since the end of last month, when Extensive blackouts and power cuts The factories were caught by surprise. But the warm winter season officially begins Friday in the country’s northeast and continues into north-central China over the next month.

Tough choice facing China It burns more coal than the rest of the world combined and is the No. 2 consumer of oil after the United States.

The power shortage has also exposed one of China’s strategic weaknesses: it is a terrible, and increasingly hungry, energy hog. Read article →

Credit…TJ Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Facebook told employees on Tuesday that it was making some of its internal online discussion groups private in an effort to reduce leaks.

Many Facebook employees join online discussion groups on Workplace, an internal message board that workers use to communicate and collaborate with one another. In the announcement on Tuesday, the company said it was targeting certain groups focusing on platform security and the security of elections, an area widely known as “integrity,” rather than going public within the company. Private, who can view and participate in discussion threads.

This move follows this disclosure Francis Haugen, a former employee, thousands of pages of internal documents from regulators, lawmakers and the news media. The documents showed that Facebook was aware of some of the damages it caused. Ms. Hogen, a former member of Facebook’s civil misinformation team, has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Testified to a Senate subcommittee this month.

“As everyone knows, we have seen an increase in the number of integrity-related leaks in recent months,” an engineering director wrote in the announcement, which was reviewed by The New York Times. “These leaks do not represent the nuances and complexities involved in our work and are often taken out of context, thereby externalizing our work.”

Facebook was known for an open culture that encouraged debate and transparency, but has become more insular as it has faced leaks about issues such as toxic speech And fake news And workers are grappling with unrest. In July, Communications team closed comments On an internal forum used for companywide announcements, “One of our requests: Please don’t leak.”

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement, “Leaks make it difficult for our teams to work together, can put employees working on sensitive topics at external risk and misrepresent complex topics.” can be done and misunderstood.” Mr Stone also said Facebook had been planning the change for months.

Tuesday’s announcement said Facebook is planning to remove people whose work is not related to safety and security through some online discussion groups. The changes will take place in “the coming months” and “with the hope that sensitive integrity discussions will take place in closed, curated forums in the future.”

In internal comments shared with The Times, some employees supported the move, while others condemned the loss of transparency and collaboration. He called the change “counterproductive” and “disappointing,” with one person suggesting it could lead to even more leaks from disgruntled employees.

One Facebook employee wrote, “I think every single employee at the company should think and act with integrity as part of their day-to-day role, and we should work to foster a culture that where it is expected.” “Silence of those devoted to integrity would undermine active efforts to cooperate and undermine the cultural expectation that integrity is everyone’s responsibility.”

Mike Isaacs Contributed reporting.

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