CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — More than 10,000 union workers from 14 different John Deere plants walked off the job at midnight Thursday. The strike comes after United Auto Workers (UAW) union members overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from Deere & Company over the weekend.
Deere & Company and union members met well into the midnight hours, but no deal was met.
Workers rejected a six-year contract which includes pay raises and lower-cost health care plans. The proposed contract would have delivered immediate 5% raises for some workers and 6% raises for others depending on their positions within Deere’s factories. The agreement also called for 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.
Workers told NewsNation all they want is a fair contract. The Moline, Illinois-based company told NewsNation in a statment Thursday it is “committed to reach an agreement with the UAW.”
John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for everyone involved and is committed to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries.
In response, to the strike, we have activated our Customer Service Continuation (CSC) Plan. As part of John Deere’s CSC plan, employees and others will be entering our factories daily to keep our operations running.
Our immediate concern is meeting the needs of our customers, who work in time-sensitive and critical industries such as agriculture and construction. By supporting our customers, the CSC Plan also protects the livelihoods of others who rely on us, including employees, dealers, suppliers, and communities.Deere & Company
The company and many others across the agricultural industry are facing worker strikes. More than 10,000 workers across five states are participating in the walkout.
This is the first strike the company has had since 1986. That strike lasted six months and halted production at 10 plants.