A strike by over 10,000 workers at John Deere manufacturing facilities has entered its fourth week as the workers reject a proposed deal with management. The deal was rejected by a margin of 55% to 45% in a vote on November 2nd.
The workers have been on strike since Oct. 14, when the members of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), voted to strike following a contentious negotiation on a new contract. At issue were the pensions and benefits for Deere workers, specifically the separate tracks of benefits for workers hired at different times.
The deal rejected by the workers most recently included 10% and 30% wage increases, according to a press statement by Deere. The company has had to pivot in recent weeks to deal with labor issues, in some cases reassigning salaried employees to perform tasks at the manufacturing facilities normally done by the UAW workers. This approach will continue, according to Marc A. Howze, Deere chief administrative officer and group president for Lifecycle Solutions. “With the rejection of the agreement covering our Midwest facilities, we will execute the next phase of our Customer Service Continuation Plan."
In a brief statement following the rejection of the latest proposed deal, the UAW said the strike and pickets at Deere facilities will continue.