Friday, October 15, 2021

Deere union workers on strike

About 10,000 employees of Deere & Co. went on strike Thursday after rejecting a tentative five-year deal that the company and union representatives negotiated.

The tentative deal covered production and maintenance employees across 14 facilities in the United States, but they voted 90 per cent against accepting it.

The company has about 27,000 employees in Canada and the U.S.

"Pickets have been set up, and our members are organized and ready to hold out and fight for a contract they believe meets their needs," Ron McInroy, director of UAW Region 4, said.

Separately, Deere said it remained committed to reaching a new agreement, adding that it had not yet estimated when it would complete negotiations.

The now-rejected offer would have given five per cent wage hikes for some workers and six per cent for some others. The proposed deal had also called for three per cent raises in 2023 and 2025.

The workers understand that they had to make concessions on some benefits in the past and now they want to get some of it back at a time when Deere is doing "very well financially" and labor shortages persist industry-wide, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters news agency.

Deere had earlier said its operations would continue as normal in Canada and the U.S.