Striking Deere workers to vote this week on contract offer

Picketing Deere workers. [photo courtesy WVIK]

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa
As the strike at a dozen Midwest John Deere plants enters its second month, union workers are scheduled to vote Wednesday on a modified contract offer from the company.

The UAW issued a statement late Friday, saying the company had made some “modest modifications” in its second contract offer and the union described the tentative agreement as Deere’s “last, best and final offer.” Neither side has disclosed details about the changes.

On November 2, the second tentative agreement between Deere and the UAW was rejected on a 55% to 45% vote by union members. More than 10,000 John Deere employees have been on strike since October 14.

The second tentative agreement would have provided an immediate 10% pay increase, with 5% pay hikes in the third and fifth years of the six-year-long contract, as well as Deere’s promise to provide pensions to future Deere factory workers. Deere executives had indicated that was the maximum the company would offer in terms of new costs.