15 October 2021 | Business

Deere workers set to go on strike

Thousands of Deere & Co-workers were set to go on strike, days after overwhelmingly rejecting a six-year labour contract that was agreed on by United Auto Workers negotiators and the tractor maker.

Earlier this month, the world's largest farm equipment maker and the UAW reached an agreement after weeks of negotiation on wages and other benefits, but 90% of the union's workers voted against the deal. read more

The tentative deal covered about 10 000 production and maintenance employees across 14 facilities in the United States.

Negotiators from the union returned to the bargaining table on Monday to thrash out a new deal, but have not reached a new agreement yet.

The now-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 workers understand that they had to make concessions on some benefits in the past and now they want to get some of it back at a time when Deere is doing "very well financially" and labour shortages persist industry-wide, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

The last strike against Deere by the UAW was in 1986 when workers sat out for 163 days. -Nampa/Reuters