Strike at John Deere ends as UAW members approve contract offer

The United Auto Workers union announced Wednesday that 61% of members at Deere voted in favor of what the company has described as its last and best offer.

Both proposals, the one rejected in the November 2 vote and the one accepted on Wednesday, have significant benefits for union members. Both include a 10% instant boost, an $8,500 signing bonus, an additional 5% increase in the third and fifth years of the proposed six-year agreement, and additional one-time payments. 3% of salary in the second, fourth and sixth years. In addition, it restored the adjustment in the cost of living to protect workers from rising consumer prices. Such provisions were once common in union contracts but have become relatively rare in recent years.

The union said the offer that was the subject of this week’s vote contained “modest amendments” to the tentative deal rejected earlier.

The company will notify strikers when they are expected to return to work. The vote and agreement were praised by both the UAW and Deere leadership.

Chief executive officer John May said: “I am delighted that our highly skilled employees are back to work. “John Deere’s success depends on the success of our employees. Through our new collective bargaining agreements, we are offering employees the opportunity to earn wages and benefits. the best in our industry and groundbreaking in many ways.”

“Our members’ courageous willingness to go on strike for a better standard of living and a safer retirement led to a groundbreaking contract and set a new standard for workers not only within the UAW but nationally,” said UAW Vice President Chuck Browning, who heads the union’s unit that deals with Deere.

But despite improved pay and benefits, many union members appear to have voted no on all three ballots. They believe Deere, which has reported record profits in recent quarters amid strong demand for their farm and construction equipment, can afford to give more, especially is after previous contracts that workers have made concessions to the company.

The union reached an initially tentative agreement with the company on October 1, but 90% of rank-and-file members voted for that deal in a vote completed on October 10. that vote resulted in start the strike four days later. NS vote later ended November 2 had more support, but still failed with only 45% voting in favor of a deal they should have worked on again two weeks ago.
After the union’s November 2 vote rejecting the second tentative deal, the company said it could not improve the economic terms for another deal. Marc Howze, Deere’s chief administrative officer in an interview with CNN Business, said the company will consider all options for serving its customers, including ability to import products from factories abroad or hire workers instead.
But importing products creates other problems due to current US supply chain issues. And there’s a near-record number job opportunities, leave the employer scramble to get most of the work done, not to mention jobs that require a worker to cross a fence in order to report work.
Labor strengthens its power as leverage from employer to employee
The current labor market dynamism has promoted unions and their members to flex their muscles, with a substantial share of ranks and profiles demanding more than what union negotiators had agreed to.
Earlier this week, members of the International Alliance of Stage Workers (IATSE), workers who perform a variety of non-acting and non-directing jobs for feature films, TV shows and streaming shows , only 50.3% voted in favor Among the agreements their unions reached, narrowly prevented a strike by 63,000 workers, which was the largest private-sector layoff since 2007. There are 1,400 workers in the country. cereal producer Kellogg (KY) who have on strike more than six weeks, and nearly 1,000 coal miners in Alabama have on strike against Warrior Met Coal (HCC) as of April 1st.


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