MOLINE, Ill. — Editor's Note: The video above was taken on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
As negotiations between Deere & Co. continues with the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union, the company announced on Friday that it would continue to provide healthcare and pay earned incentives to workers on strike.
In a statement, Jen Hartmann, director of Public Relations for Deere & Co., said healthcare for all UAW-represented maintenance and production workers would continue.
"In addition, we will provide these employees with the Continuous Improvement Pay Plan (CIPP) incentives earned before the strike as scheduled," stated Hartmann. "John Deere's healthcare and CIPP incentives are critical aspects of John Deere's industry-leading wages and benefits. We are taking these steps to demonstrate our commitment to doing what's right by our employees and focusing on all that we can achieve together."
This announcement comes as strike negotiations enter the ninth full day, and just two days after Deere was granted an injunction against picketers at its Davenport Works location. The company alleges that union members at that location have been physically and verbally threatening any customers or contractors attempting to enter or exit the property.
In court documents filed on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Deere said, in part, "(Union members) have screamed through megaphones and other audible enhancing devices, paraded in the public road up leading to Davenport Works with banners and signs."
The filed injunction goes on to add, "Deere has suffered and will continue to suffer substantial and irreparable injury," states the injunction documents. "The injuries to Deere outweigh the relative hardship to the Union and its members."
A similar injunction was then filed for the Des Moines Works facility in Ankeny, IA, but that case has not been immediately ruled on.
While on strike, UAW workers are given $275 a week in strike pay. They are not allowed to file for unemployment, but may pick up a second job, as long as that weekly income does not exceed $275.
Union members are also eligible for limited UAW healthcare while on strike, including medical and prescription drug coverage. However, the union does not cover things such as dental, vision or hearing.
During a Thursday night community rally in support of UAW workers on strike, Quad City pastors, leaders and elected officials called on Deere to rescind the injunctions.
"We support the workers and their voices need to be heard," said Amber Bordolo, Executive Director of Quad Cities Interfaith. "By the court stepping in, it, to me, feels like they're kind of stepping on that right that people have to say that I'm going to make sure that my voice is heard and I'm gonna demand a living wage."