For the first time in 35 years, the United Auto Workers union has called for a strike of Deere & Co. after two months of negotiations. In a statement UAW International Vice president Chuck Browning said the workers at Deere are striking for the ability to “earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules.” Browning said the union members are committed to bargaining until its members achieve its goals.
Deere’s vice president of labor relations Brad Morris said the company is “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."
Deere officials told the Des Moines Register earlier this year that the company was having a difficult time hiring enough workers. Executives told analysts in August that Deere had orders booked through the end of its next fiscal year, in November 2022.
Deere executives said the company will record a profit of $5.7 to $5.9 billion this year, topping previous record years.
More than 10,000 John Deere workers began to strike on Oct. 13. Thousands of members have set up pickets at Deere locations, Fox Business reported.
The strike covers 14 plants in the United States.
"We definitely want to see our economy stabilize and grow after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati told the Quad-Cities Times. "Hopefully, these parties can come to a resolution soon."
Until a resolution is reached, Deere is continuing to operate with non-union workers filling some positions.