MOLINE, Ill. — UPDATED STORY 11/2:
The majority of the United Auto Workers at Deere & Company plants have voted down the re-negotiated agreement that the company and union bargainers reached.
It was a 45% to 55% vote, turning the proposed contract down. There were a total of 9,040 votes; 5,010 voted against the new contract and 4,030 voted in favor of the new contract.
The first contract vote was turned down with 90% not in favor of the terms. Since then, workers have walked the picket lines at plants in the Quad Cities and three other states.
After the vote, Deere's Chief Administrative Officer, Marc A. Howze, issued the following statement:
“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. 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. With the rejection of the agreement covering our Midwest facilities, we will execute the next phase of our Customer Service Continuation Plan.”
Deere & Co. said had voters approved the contract on Tuesday, workers would have gotten retirement benefits, new paid parental leave, an immediate 10% wage increase and 30% wage increase over the duration of the contract. In addition, their healthcare would have come with $0 premiums, $0 deductibles, and $0 coinsurance, and the contract came with a ratification bonus of $8,500.
UPDATED STORY 11/1: Union members will start voting on the agreement Tuesday morning, Nov. 2.
ORIGINAL STORY 10/30: A tentative contract agreement between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and John Deere has been reached.
UAW officials made the announcement Saturday, Oct. 30, and released the text of the proposal later on on October 31.
This comes after John Deere union workers have been on strike for more than two weeks.
“Our UAW John Deere national bargaining team went back to our local members after the previous tentative agreement and canvassed the concerns and priorities of membership,” UAW President Ray Curry said. “We want to thank the UAW bargaining team and striking UAW members and their families for the sacrifices they have made to achieve these gains. Our members have enjoyed the support of our communities and the entire labor movement nationwide as they have stood together in support and solidarity these past few weeks.”
Union workers have raised concerns over wages, pensions and health care benefits.
UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said the new agreement includes financial gains and quality health care benefits.
“The negotiators focused on improving the areas of concern identified by our members during our last ratification process," Browning said.
Union workers will remain on strike until a final vote over the new contract.
You can view the text of the agreement proposal here, on the UAW website.