Money & The Economy

John Deere Workers Reject New Contract, Extend Strike

Workers at Deer & Co. rejected a second contract offer from the company that would increase their pay by 10%, multiple sources reported.

Over 10,000 employees at 12 John Deere plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas rejected a deal agreed upon initially on Oct. 30, the company said in a press release Wednesday. A group of 100 workers at two facilities in Colorado and Georgia voted to accept an identical deal, Fox Business reported.

In addition to the 10% pay increase, the latest “tentative agreement” included benefits that would have given workers an $8,500 ratification bonus, improved healthcare, paid parental leave and improved retirement benefits, according to the company press release.

“Through the agreements reached with the UAW, John Deere would have invested an additional $3.5 billion in our employees, and by extension, our communities, to significantly enhance wages and benefits that were already the best and most comprehensive in our industries,” Marc A. Howze, chief administrative officer at Deere, said in the press release.

“This investment was the right one for Deere, our employees, and everyone we serve together. Even though it would have created greater competitive challenges within our industries, we had faith in our employees’ ability to sharpen our competitive edge,” Howze added.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which represents the Deere employees, said the contract was voted down by a margin of 55% to 45%, according to a UAW press release.

The UAW directed the Daily Caller News Foundation to the group’s press release when reached for comment.

The John Deere workers first went on strike on Oct. 14 with the UAW saying the company “failed to meet our members’ demands and needs.” The first contract was offered to 14 John Deere facilities throughout the U.S.

The company’s initial offer would have increased salaries by up to 6% for employees. About 90% of the employees voted against the contract, Fox Business reported.

John Deere did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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