CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Thousands of workers from 14 different John Deere plants continued to strike Friday after United Auto Workers (UAW) union members overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from Deere & Company over the weekend.
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.
Employees told NewsNation they won’t stop until a fair contract is reached.
“This is the start of a period of uncertainty for many members of our community. I can only imagine how difficult it is to manage for both the workers and the company,” Sangeetha Rayapat, mayor of Moline, Illinois said.
More than 10,000 workers continue to strike against the company — that’s more than 30 percent of the company’s 28,000 production workforce. Employees make lawn care equipment, forestry and agricultural machinery.
A company strike 35 years ago stopped production at 10 plants for 6 months.
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