John Deere, union extend contract Friday

The contract covers over ten thousand John Deere employees.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:32 AM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - John Deere and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America union have agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement as they continue to make progress towards reaching a tentative agreement.

“Any updates or changes to the status of the negotiations will be communicated through our local unions,” according to a release from the union.

In a Facebook post, UAW Labor Union 281 in Davenport wrote, “We’ve been notified by the bargaining team we are on an extension. Good progress has been made but they are still talking. Report to work tomorrow.”

The new deadline for the extension was not known as of 5:30 a.m. Friday. TV6 will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest updates on-air and online.

A six-year contract agreement between John Deere and the union was to expire at 12:01 a.m. The contract covers over ten thousand John Deere employees.

The last time John Deere union employees went on strike was in 1986 and lasted about six months. The last contract negotiation was in 2015.

Two weeks ago, Deere employees demonstrated at an informational picket in Moline, pushing for higher wages, lower copays, better seniority provisions, modifications to short-term disability, and healthcare.

UAW voted Sept. 12 to pass a strike authorization, with no indication on when they will strike; It just authorizes them to do so if they deem it necessary.

Twenty-year Deere employee and UAW representative Tim Niedert said if a tentative agreement is brought back Friday, United Auto Worker members will vote on it Oct. 10 at a ratification meeting.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the president is aware of the labor dispute.

“Yes, the President is deeply concerned when he sees companies making record profits, padding the pockets of CEOs, and expressing concern about paying a little bit more so that we can invest in our workforce, invest in cutting costs for the American people, invest in the climate crisis,” she said. “That’s deeply concerning.”

TV6 reached out to John Deere Thursday afternoon for comment. A spokesperson said, “Through the negotiations, John Deere is committed to ensuring that our employees continue to have the best wages and most comprehensive benefits package in the agriculture and construction industries. We’re currently unable to comment, however, on the status of those negotiations.”

TV6 will keep you updated on-air and online with this story.

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