Thousands of John Deere workers are on strike after union negotiations for increased benefits fell through.
At midnight on Thursday, over 10,000 employees of the agricultural brand went on strike at 14 facilities across the United States. The workers carried picket signs demanding John Deere provide safer work environments and better pay and benefits, according to the United Auto Workers Union.
“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,” said UAW's Vice President Chuck Browning. “We stay committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved.”
The strike came after 90% of UAW's membership rejected a tentative agreement reached by the UAW and John Deere that would have delivered a raise of at least 5% in wages to workers. UAW members set a deadline for Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. for an improved offer to be delivered, and the strike took effect when the deadline was not met, according to Fox Business.
Deere & Company, the owner of John Deere, does not know when employees on strike will resume work or when negotiations with the UAW will be completed, but Brad Morris, the company's vice president of labor relations, said 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," Morris said in a statement. "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."
Last week, Kellogg's workers at all the company's U.S. plants went on strike, protesting a loss of premium healthcare and holiday pay, in addition to a reduction in vacation time.
The strikes come as the U.S. grapples with supply chain issues that threaten to cause huge spikes in the costs of goods. Last month, food prices rose to their highest levels in a decade, with prices of vegetable oil, cereal, and other commodities skyrocketing.
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Original Author: Asher Notheis
Original Location: Over 10,000 John Deere workers go on strike due to contract dispute