John Deere strike ends as union workers ratify agreement

UAW says the deal includes an $8,500 signing bonus and a 20% increase in wages over the lifetime of the six-year contract, with 10% this year.

Striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) picket at the Deere & Co farm equipment plant before a visit by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Ankeny, Iowa, U.S. October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
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MOLINE, Illinois — After weeks of striking, a union representing workers at farm equipment maker John Deere has ratified a labor agreement.

By a vote of 61% to 39%, United Auto Workers John Deere members on Wednesday, Nov. 17, ratified the agreement.

According to a news release on the union's website, the deal includes an $8,500 signing bonus; 20% increase in wages over the lifetime of the contract with 10% this year; return of cost of living adjustments; three 3% lump sum payments; enhanced options for retirement and enhanced performance benefits. Health care benefits remain the same for the life of the agreement.

Thousands of John Deere employees went on strike on Oct. 14 after 90% of UAW members voted to reject a six-year labor contract. The rejected offer would have given 5% wage hikes for some workers and 6% for some others. The proposed deal had also called for 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.

The approved six-year collective bargaining agreements cover more than 10,000 workers at 14 facilities across the United States, John Deere said in a release on its website.


“Our members courageous willingness to strike in order to attain a better standard of living and a more secure retirement resulted in a groundbreaking contract and sets a new standard for workers not only within the UAW but throughout the country,” Chuck Browning, vice president of the UAW and director of the UAW agricultural implement department said in a news release. “The sacrifice and solidarity displayed by our John Deere members combined with the determination of their negotiators made this accomplishment possible. They have started a movement for workers in this country by what was achieved here today and they have earned the admiration and respect of all that strive for what is just and equitable in the workplace.”

Deere & Co. has about 27,500 employees in the United States and Canada.

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