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Deere Workers Approve Contract Ending Month-Long Strike

Nov. 18, 2021
More than 10,000 striking UAW members endorsed a six-year agreement in the third attempt to resolve the company-wide outage.

United Auto Workers members at Deere & Co. on November 17 voted to accept a third proposed labor agreement, previously described as the manufacturer’s “last, best, and final offer,” ending a month-long strike at 12 John Deere plants. The vote favored the new contract by 61% to 39% among more than 10,000 workers who began the strike on October 14.

According to local reports, the strike was suspended immediately upon news of the ratification. Third-shift workers were expected to return as soon as 11 p.m., Wednesday, November 17.

It was the first company-wide strike in 35 years at Deere - one of the world’s largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment. Its operations include a large gray and ductile iron foundry in Waterloo, IA.

A second contract proposal was turned down on November 2.

“I’m pleased our highly skilled employees are back to work building and supporting the industry-leading products which make our customers more profitable and sustainable,” according to chairman and CEO John C. May, in a statement.

According to information released by the UAW, the ratified six-year contract includes an $8,500 signing bonus; and a 20% increase in wages over the lifetime of the contract, with 10% to be paid this year. The agreement also restores “cost of living” adjustments, provides three lump-sum payments of 3%, and enhances the retirement benefits and CIPP performance benefits options. Employee healthcare coverage will remain unchanged for the duration of the agreement.”