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United Auto Workers Ratify New Agreement Ending Strike Against Deere & Co.

Nov. 21, 2021
About 61 percent of voters approved the agreement, which boosts hourly wages by 10 percent and increases retirement benefits.

Posted by Brooke Just

United Auto Worker members and Deere & Co. have approved a new six-year contract with the agricultural and construction equipment company, putting an end to the five-week strike.

About 61 percent of voters approved the agreement, which boosts hourly wages by 10 percent and increases retirement benefits. The company also will maintain its health insurance program, in which workers do not pay premiums, reported The Des Moines Register

The 10,100 Deere workers in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas had rejected two previous contracts, setting off the first strike against the company since 1986. The Deere strike was viewed by some as a symbol of the impact the pandemic has had on the economy. “Nearly two years of lockdowns and economic tumult have sparked a wave of labor activism, causing many workers to push for better conditions,” said the Washington Post.

"UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves," UAW international president Ray Curry said in a statement. "They seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace. We could not be more proud."

Deere CEO John May said, “I’m pleased our highly skilled employees are back to work building and supporting the industry-leading products which make our customers more profitable and sustainable."

The striking workers returned to their jobs immediately after the new deal was ratified.