ANKENY, Iowa– UAW workers for John Deere officially went on strike at midnight this morning. 90% of union members voted against a proposed contract agreement. Over 10,000 UAW members at John Deere set up pickets including hundreds in Iowa in Ankeny, Ottumwa, Dubuque, Davenport and Waterloo.
“Our members at John Deere strive for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish work rules. we stay committed until our members’ goals are achieved,” said Vice President and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department Chuck Browning in a statement.
In a separate statement, the Vice President of Labor Relations for Deere & Company, Brad Morris, stated: “We will keep working day and night to understand our employees’ priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve.”
The rejected contract for UAW members at John Deere included a 5-6% wage increase for employees and eliminated a lower tier of pay for recent hires of the company.
This strike affects 12 John Deere plants in five states. The last John Deere strike happened over 35 years ago and lasted over 160 days.