MOLINE, Illinois (KCRG) - Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday after the United Auto Workers union said negotiators couldn't deliver a new agreement that would meet the "demands and needs" of workers.
The union said its more than 10,000 members would walk off the job if no deal was reached. Workers are picketing in Waterloo, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Ankeny and Moline. The vast majority of the union rejected a contract offer earlier this week that would have delivered at least 5 percent raises.
John Deere released a statement Thursday in response to the workers strike, saying it will have employees working at its factories to keep daily operations running to meet the needs of its customers:
“John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities, and everyone involved. We are determined to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries. We will keep working day and night to understand our employees’ priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve.”Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Company. “
Our sister station KCRG-TV9 spoke to farmers who say they are worried about the impact the strike will have on their ability to get parts for farm equipment.
In response to these concerns, John Deere released an additional statement to our sister station KCRG-TV9 saying it has activated its Customer Service Continuation Plan in response to the strike. Under the CSC Plan, Deere says employees will enter its factories to keep daily operations running.
“Our immediate concern is meeting the needs of our customers, who work in time-sensitive and critical industries such as agriculture and construction,” John Deere said in its statement. “By supporting our customers, the CSC Plan also protects the livelihoods of others who rely on us, including employees, dealers, suppliers, and communities.”
Thirty-five years have passed since the last major Deere strike, but workers are emboldened to demand more this year after working long hours throughout the pandemic and because companies are facing worker shortages.