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Deere Makes Third Contract Offer

striking Deere workers outside the Cylinder Works in Moline on Tuesday
striking Deere workers outside the Cylinder Works in Moline on Tuesday

November 17th, 2021 - See update below.

One month after the strike began against John Deere, union workers will vote again on a new contract.

Update by Herb Trix and Michelle O'Neill

Members of the UAW are voting a third time on a possible contract with John Deere. Union locals representing more than 10,000 workers in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas are holding ratification votes today.

Voting by some locals is scheduled to take just a few hours, while one of the biggest locals, 838 in Waterloo, will hold its vote alphabetically from 7 am to 7 pm.

The strike began on October 14th, and the union announced its latest tentative agreement last Friday.

A union spokesman expects results will be available Wednesday evening.

Changes in the third tentative agreement would affect the company's Continuous Improvement Pay Plan which only applies to union workers at certain Deere factories. It's a performance incentive program that allows teams to make more money if they show improvement over the long term. Problems with delays in parts deliveries and the supply chain that are beyond workers' control can affect their pay.

November 15th, 2021 - Previous version

Over the weekend, the UAW announced the company had made some "modest modifications" to what it had previously called its last, best, and final offer, and union officials decided to hold a ratification vote.

The union did not specify a date, but the Quad City Times, quoting a worker, reported the date will be this Wednesday November 17th.

The strike against Deere began on October 14th after 90 percent of those voting rejected a contract offer. Three weeks later, on November 2nd, another offer was rejected by 55 to 45 percent margin.

The contract, would cover more than 10,000 Deere workers at 12 facilities across Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.