Most Deere workers reject tractor manufacturer’s contract offer

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) – The vast majority of United Auto Workers union members on Sunday rejected a contract offer from Deere & Co. that would have seen at least a 5% increase in workers who make John Deere tractors and others equipment.

“The tentative deal reached by the UAW and John Deere was rejected tonight by a majority of 90% of the membership,” UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said in a statement Sunday evening.

Negotiators will return to the negotiating table on Monday to try to strike a new deal to cover more than 10,000 workers at 14 factories across the United States, including seven in Iowa and four in Illinois. The union has set a strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials at the Moline, Illinois-based company said operations would continue as normal in the meantime. Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations at Deere, said he was disappointed the offer was turned down.

“After weeks of negotiations, John Deere reached tentative agreements with the UAW that would have dramatically improved our industries’ best wages and most comprehensive benefits for our employees,” Morris said. “John Deere remains fully committed to continuing the collective bargaining process with the goal of better understanding the perspectives of our employees.

The proposed contract would have resulted in immediate increases of 5% for some workers and 6% for others depending on their position at Deere factories. The pact also provided for increases of 3% in 2023 and 2025.

Contract negotiations come as strong sales this year helped Deere report net income of $ 4.68 billion for the first nine months of its fiscal year, more than double the $ 1.993 billion reported earlier. is one year old.

The company expects to earn between $ 5.7 billion and $ 5.9 billion in the fiscal year.

The membership rejection also comes after workers represented by the UAW at a Volvo Trucks plant in Virginia went on strike and rejected three tentative contract offers last spring before ratifying the third offer in a vote.

Workers ended up with better pay and cheaper health benefits. The strike and the multiple rejections of contracts accepted by union leaders have shown that workers are encouraged by a nationwide shortage of employees that affects almost all industries.

Deere & Co. shares were down less than 1% at midday Monday.


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Virginia C. Taylor

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