Deere, UAW Reach Tentative Agreement on New Contract
Union: New offer has modest modifications to offer voted down Nov. 2; Vote Wed.
Deere & Co. and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union reached a third tentative agreement on a contract in the latest bid to end a strike at the agricultural and construction equipment maker that started Oct. 14.
The UAW, which represents more than 10,000 Deere production and maintenance employees, said in a statement Friday night that the proposed contract "includes modest modifications" to the latest rejected proposal, which included immediate 10% raises. said the latest offer included “modest modifications” to a proposal that union members rejected Nov. 2 by a margin of 55% to 45%. Workers also turned down an offer on Oct. 10. The union described the new proposal as the company’s "last, best and final offer" in its statement (link)
Deere, while confirming a new agreement had been reached, declined to comment further. Neither the union nor the company revealed details in advance of the union’s briefing of its members.
Union members will vote on the proposal on Wednesday. The contract would cover more than 10,000 Deere workers at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas, who make the company’s iconic John Deere green tractors and other equipment.
Following rejection of the previous offer, Deere executives said the Moline, Ill.-based company wouldn’t raise it or bargain further on economic issues. The company’s prior offer included an immediate 10% increase in hourly pay, plus an $8,500 bonus for each worker. Additional 5% pay raises were proposed for 2023 and 2025, and lump sum bonuses in three other years. Deere had said that offer represented a $3.5 billion investment in compensation for the workers.
Deere has forecast about $5.8 billion in income for its full fiscal year, vs $2.8 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion in 2019.
Deere executives previously said they are considering sourcing equipment and replacement parts from the company’s overseas plants as the strike drags on. The company has been shipping some equipment and parts that were stocked in warehouses. Supervisors and other nonunion employees have been finishing some machinery that was mostly assembled at the time of the walkout.