John Deere workers end strike, reach deal with UAW

Top Stories

After the UAW ratified an agreement with John Deere, a former picket area at John Deere Seeding was quiet Wednesday night (photo by Eric Olsen.)

The United Auto Workers ratified an agreement—which was tentative as of Friday—with John Deere on Wednesday evening that ended a five-week strike.

The UAW members, who wanted higher wages, began the strike at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 – the first strike in 35 years.

A UAW source told Local 4 News on Wednesday night the approval vote was 61%.

The latest contract maintains the 10% immediate raises the last deal offered, and it makes what the United Auto Workers union called modest changes to Deere’s internal incentive pay program for workers.

A Deere spokesperson said operations will resume for the third shift Wednesday night.

Both sides reached the first tentative agreement after six weeks of negotiations. That was rejected by the union.

A few days into the strike, Deere won a temporary injunction against the union to limit the number of people who could be on the picket line outside the Davenport Works Plant. A judge rejected the company’s move for a similar injunction outside the Des Moines Works in Ankeny.

The union and the company reached a tentative agreement on Oct. 30, but 55% of the union membership rejected it.

Some UAW members and supporters staged a one-day picket outside John Deere World Headquarters just over a week later. This was the only time picketers were at the world headquarters.

Ratification votes and dates

  • 11/17/2021 – Yes 61%, No 39%
  • 11/2/2021 – Yes 45%, No 55%
  • 10/10/2021  – Yes 10%, No 90%

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) has informed Deere & Company that its production and maintenance employees have voted to ratify new six-year collective bargaining agreements that cover more than 10,000 workers at 14 facilities across the United States, according to a news release from Deere.

“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,” said John C. May, chairman and chief executive officer for Deere, said in the release.

“John Deere’s success depends on the success of our people. Through our new collective bargaining agreements, we’re giving employees the opportunity to earn wages and benefits that are the best in our industries and are groundbreaking in many ways,” May said, “We have faith that, in return, our employees will find new and better ways to improve our competitiveness and transform the way our customers do their work. Together, our future is bright.”

Local 4 News and www.ourquadcities.com will provide more details when they become available.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.