The UAW had reached an agreement in principle on a six-year new contact with the company two weeks ago, only to see 90% of the union’s base members reject it in a ratification vote that took place. ended last Sunday. Union and employer negotiators met on Wednesday night to try to strike a new deal, but were unable to do so.
However, the US Department of Labor reports that the number of strikes so far this year is actually down from the same period in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic pissed off the markets of the United States. job.
Good times at Deere
The strike at Deere & Co., the official name of the company popularly known as John Deere, ends operations at 11 factories in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, and three distribution centers in Georgia, Illinois and Colorado. The company manufactures agricultural and construction equipment. Demand for its products has been strong.
The company said in August that it expects an increase in orders through November 1 and through the first quarter of next year.
The rejected contract for UAW members at John Deere would have given them immediate increases in their base salary from 5% to 6%, and additional salary increases later in the contract that could have raised the average salary d ‘About 20% over the six years of the rejected deal. It also eliminated a lower second tier of pay for some of the company’s more recent hires, leading them to pay other UAW members.
The average production worker at Deere earned around $ 60,000 last year and could end that contract by earning around $ 72,000.
“John Deere is committed to achieving a positive outcome for our employees, our communities and everyone involved,” said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations at Deere. “We are determined to reach a deal with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in agriculture and construction. We will continue to work day and night to understand the priorities of our employees. and resolve this strike. “
But unlike the last two UAW contracts at Deere, which were negotiated during tough times for the company, these negotiations came at a particularly good time for the company.
This would perhaps have made it more difficult to conclude an agreement to which membership would be subject. Deere’s current financial success may have led some union members to believe they deserved an even better package than the one that was rejected, especially after less lucrative deals in the past.
“These are skilled and tedious jobs that UAW members take pride in every day,” said Mitchell Smith, UAW Regional Director. “Strikes are never easy for workers or their families, but John Deere workers believe they deserve a better slice of the pie, a safer workplace and adequate benefits.
The company has also hired in the past year, as jobs represented by unions at Deere have increased by 19% since November 1, 2020.