John Deere workers including factory in Colorado brace for strike

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) – More than 10,000 workers at John Deere, including in Colorado, appear poised to go on strike if negotiators fail to strike a new deal by the end of Wednesday.

The United Auto Workers union has said its members will quit work if no deal is reached before 11:59 p.m. The vast majority of the union rejected a contract offer earlier this week that would have raised some 5%. workers and% increases to others.

Thirty-five years have passed since Deere & Co.’s last big strike, but workers have the courage to demand more this year after working long hours throughout the pandemic and because companies are facing a labor shortage.

Chris Laursen, who works as a painter at Deere, told the Des Moines Register he believes a strike is imminent and could make a significant difference.

“The whole nation is going to watch us,” Laursen told the newspaper. “If we take a stand here for ourselves, our families, for basic human prosperity, it will make a difference for the entire manufacturing industry. Let’s do it. Let’s not be intimidated.

Earlier this year, another group of workers represented by the UAW went on strike at a Volvo Trucks plant in Virginia and ended up with better pay and cheaper health benefits after rejecting three offers provisional contracts.

The contracts under negotiation cover 14 Deere factories across the United States, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois and one each in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.

Contract talks with the Moline, Illinois-based company are unfolding as Deere expects to post record profits of between $ 5.7 billion and $ 5.9 billion this year. The company reported strong sales of its agricultural and construction equipment this year.

Deere’s production plants are an important contributor to the economy, so local officials hope any strike will be short-lived.

“We really want to see our economy stabilize and grow after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati told the Quad-Cities Times. “I hope these parties can come to a resolution soon.”


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Joseph D. Whitman

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