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Friday, September 29, 2023

John Deere Workers End Month-Long Strike After Approving To New Contract Offering 10% Raise

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Union workers at agricultural manufacturer Deere & Co.—also known as John Deere—agreed to end a monthlong strike of more than 10,000 employees on Wednesday after ratifying a new contract that would offer the workers 10% raises immediately.

Key Facts

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union announced that the new “landmark agreement” was approved by a margin of 61% to 39%.

The new six-year contract includes an immediate 10% raise for all workers, an $8,500 signing bonus and this will be followed by additional 5% pay raises in 2023 and 2025 along with other benefits.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s workers will return to their plants as soon as Wednesday night.

The deal ratified on Wednesday was the third one offered by Deer after more than 90% of workers rejected the company’s first offer and 55% of workers rejected the second deal which doubled the raises the company was initially offering.

In a statement, Deere CEO John May said the company was giving its employees wages and benefits that are “the best in our industries” and in return he expects them to “find new and better ways” to improve the agricultural manufacturer’s competitiveness.

Crucial Quote

“UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace. We could not be more proud of these UAW members and their families,” UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement.

Big Number

$5.7 to $5.9 billion. That is the projected profit that Deere & Co. expects to earn in the current fiscal year. If the projections are accurate the company will more than double its 2020 income of $2.8 billion.

Key Background

More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers from 14 plants went on strike on October 14, demanding better pay and benefits. In recent weeks the striking workers have had to deal with increasingly cold temperatures while trying to make do with the union’s $275 weekly strike pay. Another UAW-represented workers union went on strike earlier this year at Volvo’s plant in Virginia where they managed to secure better pay and lower-cost healthcare benefits. Union workers at Kellogg’s have also been on strike since last month at four of the company’s cereal manufacturing units.

Further Reading

Deere workers approve 3rd contract offer, will end strike (Associated Press)

John Deere employees approve third contract proposal, ending their five-week long strike (Des Moines Register)

Deere Workers Approve New Contract, Ending Strike (Wall Street Journal)

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