December 3, 2021
Deere employees reject contract offer, will stay on strike

Striking Deere workers vote Wednesday on 3rd contract offer

MOLINE, Ailing. — Greater than 10,000 placing Deere & Co. workers had been voting Wednesday on a brand new contract offer from the tractor maker, however this third deal is strikingly much like a contract that 55% of workers rejected two weeks in the past.

The most recent proposed contract maintains the ten% instant raises that the final deal provided, and it makes what the United Auto Workers union known as modest modifications to the small print of Deere’s inner incentive pay program for workers.

After the final vote on Nov. 2, Deere officers advised the union to not anticipate the corporate to offer any extra money, and Deere largely caught to that promise on this newest offer.

Along with the preliminary raises, this week’s offer retains the 5% raises that had been within the third and fifth years of the six-year deal and three% lump sum funds within the second, fourth and sixth years of the deal. The offer would additionally present an $8,500 ratification bonus, protect a pension possibility for brand spanking new workers, make workers eligible for medical health insurance sooner and preserve their no-premium medical health insurance protection.

The contract covers 12 vegetation in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas the place the corporate’s iconic inexperienced John Deere agricultural and development tools is made.

What Moline, Illinois-based Deere did on this newest offer, which it’s calling its closing one, was tweak the difficult components it makes use of to find out which workers obtain bonuses primarily based on whether or not their group hits sure productiveness objectives. The modifications within the components may make it simpler for workers to qualify for the inducement pay, however there are some Deere workers who aren’t eligible for the bonuses primarily based on the job they do within the firm’s factories and warehouses.

The workers who went on strike on Oct. 14 have been holding out for extra from Deere, which has predicted it can report report annual income between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion when it releases its earnings report later this month. Initially, greater than 90% of the workers rejected Deere’s preliminary offer, however the second vote was a lot nearer after the corporate primarily doubled the raises it was providing.

Deere workers have needed to endure more and more colder temperatures alongside the picket traces whereas making an attempt to get by on the union’s $275 in weekly strike pay or by discovering one other job.

Firm officers have stated they’re utilizing salaried workers and different workers to attempt to preserve their factories working throughout the strike. Different Deere vegetation globally are additionally working to select up work.

Nonetheless, Deere workers — and different unions — have been emboldened to ask for extra this yr due to the continuing employee shortages and since workers did not all the time really feel appreciated whereas working lengthy hours throughout the pandemic.

One other group of UAW-represented workers went on strike earlier this yr at a Volvo Vehicles plant in Virginia and secured higher pay and lower-cost well being advantages after rejecting three tentative contract provides. At the moment, about 1,400 Kellogg’s workers have been on strike since early final month on the firm’s 4 U.S. cereal vegetation.

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