October 14 (NWN) – More than 10,000 John Deere union members went on strike early Thursday over lack of adequate wages and pensions.
According to The New York Times, before the strike, most tractor-brand workers rejected a contract offer that union negotiators had negotiated with the company.
Trade union negotiators said the deal brought “significant economic benefits” and “industry-leading health care benefits,” but workers said it failed to sufficiently raise wages and provide traditional retirement benefits to new employees, according to Times. The workers also stated that they had failed to significantly improve the incentive program, which they considered to be overly restrictive.
“Our John Deere employees are on strike to earn a living, retire with dignity and establish fair work practices,” said Chuck Browning, director of the agricultural equipment department at the United Auto Workers Union, in a statement. “We continue to bargain until the goals of our members are achieved.”
More than 10,000 workers took part in the strike at 14 agricultural equipment maker plants, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois, and one each in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.
UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement that “nearly a million retirees and active UAW members stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere.”
Meanwhile, the company has promised to continue negotiations.
“We will continue to work day and night to understand the priorities of our employees and resolve this strike, as well as continue our work for the benefit of everyone we serve,” Brad Morris, vice president of industrial relations, said in a statement. …