MOLINE, Ill. —
A John Deere representative said the second re-negotiated contract will be the company's "best, last and final offer' and hopes that members of the UAW will ultimately pass this agreement.
The strike and negotiations will continue, according to a UAW representative.
United Auto Workers turned down a re-negotiated contract. Out of a total of 9,040 votes, 55% turned it down and 45% voted in favor of the terms.
The strike continues. This is day 20 of the strike.
The United Auto Workers announced a tentative contract agreement. Union picketers have been on strike for 17 days.
Union workers have raised concerns over wages, pensions and health care benefits. This proposal includes financial improvements and quality health care benefits, according to the UAW vice president.
A review of the proposal and final vote are pending. Union workers will remain on strike until then.
The John Deere strike enters Day 16.
Signs urging drivers to slow down are now up in Milan after a striking Deere worker was hit by a car and killed while picketing earlier this week.
Several safety changes have been made since the death of 56-year-old Richard Rich.
Crews have fixed street lights in what some people called a dimly-lit intersection of Rock Island-Milan Parkway and Deere Drive. Pickers are also wearing reflective gear.
The John Deere strike reaches its second week.
According to union officials and Rock Island authorities, just after 6 a.m., a UAW picketer, later identified as 56-year-old Richard Rich, was killed in a car accident as he was walking across the intersection of Rock Island Milan Parkway and Deere Drive after leaving the picket.
The John Deere strike reaches its 13th day.
Members of the United Auto Workers Union have asked a judge to reconsider a court order that limits their actions at John Deere Davenport Works. The injunction, which was filed Wednesday, October 20, limited the number of picketers at the location and prohibited their use of fire barrels and chairs.
The union's lawyer said the company didn't present enough evidence to back up their claims that picketers were posing a hazard.
Meanwhile, a GoFund Me started in support of union members has surpassed its goal of raising $100,000. Ten days after being created, it was inching toward $128,000.
The John Deere strike reaches its ninth day.
Picketing continues and union members on strike outside of John Deere Davenport Works are beholden to some limitations spelled out in a court order.
All week, the United Auto Workers and Deere & Company have been back at the negotiating table.
A statement from Deere's Director of Public Relations, Jen Hartmann, issued the following statement Friday:
"As we work constructively with the UAW to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, John Deere will continue providing healthcare for all our UAW-represented production and maintenance employees. In addition, we will provide these employees with the Continuous Improvement Pay Plan (CIPP) incentives they earned before the strike as scheduled. 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."
The strike has made it through its first week without much change in its status
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Governor of Iowa Tom Vilsack visited a picket line in Ankeny, Iowa to show his support for the union works, saying that he hopes that John Deere and the UAW will be able to reach a fair deal soon.
Vilsack stresses the importance of the issue, noting that the strike heavily impacts farmers how may net to get their hands on parts ahead of the harvest.
"I would be happy to talk to the CEO of John Deere and make sure he understands and appreciates the importance of this dispute to get resolved as quickly as possible and fairly and equitably. because obviously American agriculture is important to have the equipment and the parts needed to continue doing what we do best."
Negotiations are still underway at an undisclosed location location in Moline.
At the end of the day on Wednesday, October 13, it was announced that the union had authorized a strike for their members working at John Deere facilities.
John Deere and union leaders had until midnight to come to an agreement. A strike was one of three potential outcomes Wednesday night. They were either going to reach a new contract deal, extend the deadline, or authorize a strike.
This decision impacts more than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers.
The vast majority of the union, 90%, rejected a contract offer on Sunday that would have delivered at least 5% raises.
Some workers told News 8 that they wanted increased wages, pensions and health care benefits. The latest version of the contract still did not offer post-retirement health care, but instead the company was offering a bonus.
"Why would you want to work in a shop that offers no benefits for your later years," said one employee.
“After weeks of negotiations, John Deere reached tentative agreements with the UAW that would have made the best wages and most comprehensive benefits in our industries significantly better for our employees,” said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Company. “John Deere remains fully committed to continuing the collective bargaining process in an effort to better understand our employees’ viewpoints."
Roughly 35 years have passed since the last major Deere strike, but workers are emboldened to demand more this year after working long hours throughout the pandemic and because companies are facing worker shortages.
Deere & Company released a statement Thursday morning on the UAW decision to strike.
"John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities, and everyone involved," said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Company. "We are determined 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. We will keep working day and night to understand our employees' priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve."
The company said it does not currently have an estimate of when employees affected by the strike will resume working or the timing for completion of negotiations with the UAW.
Early Thursday morning at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, a protective barricade was set up around the building as workers on strike began to form picketing lines.
In an attempt to meet consumer demand during the strike, the company has activated its "Customer Service Continuation Plan," which includes employees and others entering factories daily to keep operations running, said Deere & Company News and Editorial Manager Dustin Lemmon.
"Our immediate concern is meeting the needs of our customers, who work in time-sensitive and critical industries such as agriculture and construction," Lemmon said. "By supporting our customers, the CSC Plan also protects the livelihoods of others who rely on us, including employees, dealers, suppliers and communities."