Thursday, December 2, 2021

UAW workers enter second day of strike following national trends

“The people I talked to are third or fourth generation employees, it’s a family tradition, they’ve built this company for generations,” Iverson said. “When you’re saying cut pensions for people hired after November 1, it’s not for them to be anonymous, anonymous people somewhere in the future. These are their children. These are their grandchildren.”

A union worker, who is protesting outside the Davenport plant, said retired Deere employees have stopped working at the quad-cities plant in solidarity with the existing employees. According to employees, the retired employees said Deere “deserved it for what he did.”

Nationally, workers are re-examining their relationships with employers, according to Vachon, due to changes in the labor market. Companies’ profits and their CEO’s compensation have been rising steadily since the 1970s, while employees’ salaries have remained stagnant. While companies relied on cheap wages to drive profits, the onset of labor shortages, which resulted from complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, increases the bargaining power of union employees as they are difficult to replace.

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Although Deere’s high leverage ensures that it can survive the strike, it will certainly lose the opportunity to bring in significant income during the strike, according to Vachon.

On Friday, Deere’s stock closed at $332.76, up $3.08. Deere’s stock soared from $327.65 early Thursday to close at $329.65 on Thursday after Deere employees went on strike. Deere’s stock has declined since Monday, after UAW members overwhelmingly voted Deere’s contract offer. Deere’s share price on Monday was $343.02.

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