Ten thousand workers at John Deere voted Wednesday to accept a new contract and return to work, ending one of the largest U.S. private-sector strikes in years.
The six-year agreement between Deere and the United Auto Workers union offers an immediate 10% raise, two subsequent raises of 5%, cost-of-living adjustments to defray inflation and an $8,500 ratification bonus for each worker. The company proposal to eliminate defined-benefit pension plans for new hires was defeated by the workers.
The deal was not substantially different from the offer Deere made to workers in early November. It appears to be better than the tentative deal between Deere and the UAW that led to the strike. The initial agreement, which included immediate raises of just 5% or 6%, was rejected by most of the membership.
The UAW said that 61% of members voted in favor of the third tentative deal.
After more than four weeks on strike, the UAW reached a landmark agreement.
Curry said that the John Deere members seemed to unite the nation in their struggle for fairness in the workplace. We are proud of the UAW members and their families.
John May said in a statement that the new deal signaled a brighter future for the company.
John Deere depends on the success of its people. We are giving our employees the chance to earn the best wages and benefits in the industry and are very innovative.
Deere has not been hit by a strike since 1986. The majority of the workforce is located in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois.
The UAW leadership had endorsed the proposal, so the workers rejection of it was a rebuke to them as well as the company. The union was sent back to the table to negotiate a better deal.
The work stop was the most visible example of how workers are flexing their muscles in a tight labor market. Workers were confident they would be able to go on strike and keep production going.
They knew a strike would hurt Deere. Strong demand for farm and construction equipment has led to a boom in sales for the company. The company needed three quarters to set a new record.
The Hollywood workers are threatening to end the strike.
The entry is titled "joe-biden-infrastructure-billn6192862de4b00aa1efebbb5e".
The Huffington Post has an entry about the John Oliver union.