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UAW Members Reject Second Deal at John Deere

The strike continues as members reject tentative agreement for a second time

Kris LaGrange's picture
Nov 03, 2021

For the second time in a month, John Deere workers are on strike after rejecting a tentative agreement. The latest rejection comes after an agreement was reached over the weekend to end the two-week strike.

The roughly 10,000 workers at John Deere voted down the tentative agreement by a vote of 45% yes to 55% no. In a statement the union said “By a vote of 45% yes to 55% no, UAW John Deere members voted down the agreement this evening,” the union said in a statement late Tuesday. “The strike against John Deere and company will continue as we discuss next steps with the company.”

The new deal would have included a 10% raise for workers and addressed a number of their concerns. Yet the membership still voted the deal down. Many Deere workers said that the workers still had concerns about the vagueness in the deal around the company’s commitment to improving its incentive plan.

“How would you treat someone that steals from you?” said one worker to Labor Notes Jonah Furman. When given the opportunity, you punch them in the mouth. That’s what we did tonight. We’ve been under attack for years and only get one chance to stand up for yourself."

With the rejection of the contract, the UAW members continue their now three-week-long strike. While the workers are clearly flexing their muscles and counting on a strong job market to push the company back to the table, the strike has been difficult for the workers. Just last week a member, Richard Rich, was killed when leaving the picket line at the end of his shift. That was likely a major factor that pushed the two sides together to get this version of the tentative agreement done.

With a fairly close vote, both sides could come together quickly to hash out some of the final issues that members raised in voting down the contract. Without a quick resolution, the company could also try and wait out the union with the hopes that the cold weather and holidays force the union back to the table.

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