John Deere workers accept settlement

Deere & Co. union workers have accepted a company offer to raise wages 10%, ending a monthlong strike. More than 10,000 employees will go back to work.


National News

November 18, 2021 - 10:14 AM

John Deere tractors. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS)

DETROIT (AP) — Deere & Co. workers approved a new contract Wednesday that will deliver 10% raises immediately and end a monthlong strike for more than 10,000 employees.

The United Auto Workers union said 61% of its members approved the deal with the tractor maker on their third vote, even though this offer was strikingly similar to one that 55% of workers rejected two weeks ago.

Deere workers — and other unions — have been emboldened to ask for more this year because of the ongoing worker shortages and because workers didn’t always feel appreciated while working long hours during the pandemic.

This latest proposal made only modest changes to the details of Deere’s internal incentive pay plan. The new contract covers 12 plants in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas where the Moline, Illinois-based company’s iconic John Deere green agricultural and construction equipment is made.

The company said work would resume on tonight.

After the last vote on Nov. 2, Deere officials told the union not to expect the company to offer any more money, and Deere largely stuck to that promise in its latest offer, which it called its final one.

The workers had been on strike since Oct. 14. And in recent weeks, they have had to endure increasingly colder temperatures along the picket lines.

 while trying to get by on the union’s $275 in weekly strike pay or by finding another job.

“UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace,” UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement Wednesday night.

Deere CEO John C. May said he is pleased that workers will be back on the job “building and supporting the industry-leading products which make our customers more profitable and sustainable.”