About 10,000 John Deere workers are on strike from Oct. 18.
Associated Press

John Deere’s 10 thousand workers ended up being one of the most powerful companies in America. largest U.S. private-sector strikesIn years past, they voted Wednesday for a new contract to be accepted and returned to work.

Deere and United Auto Workers have reached a six-year deal that includes a 10% immediate raise and two further raises of 5.5%. There are also cost-of living adjustments for inflation to offset inflation, and an $8500 worker ratification bonus. They also held off a proposed company to abolish defined-benefit pensions for new hires.

Apart from tweaks to the company’s pay incentive plan, the deal was not substantially different than a recent offer from Deere that workers rejected in early November. It is far more than the initial tentative agreement between Deere & the UAW which led to the strike. The initial agreement that included immediate increases of 5% to 6% was rejected by 90% members in October.

The UAW reported Wednesday that 61% of the members voted for the third tentative agreement, while 39% voted against.

UAW President Ray Curry called it a “landmark agreement” reached after more than four weeks on strike.

“UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace,” Curry said in a statement. We could not be more proud of these UAW members and their families.”

Deere CEO John May said in a statement that the new deal signaled a “brighter future” for the company.

“John Deere’s success depends on the success of our people,” May said. “We’re giving employees the opportunity to earn wages and benefits that are the best in our industries and are groundbreaking in many ways.”

Deere was hit by the strike on Oct. 14, 1986, which was its first since 1986. Although it affected 14 facilities throughout the country, the vast majority of workers are located in and around the Quad Cities of Iowa or Illinois.

The workers’ overwhelming rejection of the original tentative agreement was a rebuke not just to the company but to the union as well, since UAW leadership had endorsed the proposal. To secure a better bargain, workers sent the union back at the bargaining table.

Perhaps the most obvious example so far of workers flexing their muscles in the midst of a tight labor market at this point of the coronavirus epidemic was the work stoppage. Workers went on strike confidently knowing Deere would not be able replace them.

Deere’s profitability was at its highest point, and they were aware of the potential for a long strike. Due to the strong demand for construction and farm equipment, and high prices of agricultural commodities, Deere has seen a surge in sales. Only one person was needed to run the company. three recent quartersSet a new record for annual profit.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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