More than 10,000 John Deere union workers went on strike on Thursday (October 14) after they rejected a tentative agreement between the United Auto Workers and the company.
The deal would have given some employees a 6% raise while other employees would see a 5% raise. The deal was voted down by nearly 90% of the unionized employees.
"Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules," said Chuck Browning, vice president of UAW's Agricultural Implement Department. "We stay committed to bargaining until our members' goals are achieved."
The strike involves workers at 14 plants across the country, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois, and ones in Kansas, Colorado, and Georgia.
John Deere has seen strong sales of its agricultural and construction equipment in 2021 and is expected to report record profits between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion. The company said it will continue to negotiate with the UAW and hopes to resolve the strike quickly.
"John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities, and everyone involved," said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere. "We are 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. We will keep working day and night to understand our employees' priorities and resolve this strike."