John Deere, UAW resume negotiations after contract rejection; future strike possible

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Workers (UAW) and John Deere were back at the negotiating table in Moline, Illinois, Monday.

This came after union members overwhelmingly rejected a new contract Sunday night with John Deere.

Approximately 90% of union members voted “no” to the tentative agreement reached, which was announced Friday. The tentative agreement came after an extension was announced in September to avoid the original October 1st deadline.

UAW Local 838, based out of Waterloo, posted on its Facebook another extension will occur until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. If there is no deal, a strike will begin at that time. It would be the first strike since 1986, which lasted more than five months.

Iowa State University economics professor Peter Orazem said strikes have become very uncommon, especially during economic slowdowns - and that the current situation is different because employees have more leverage due to labor shortages.

“This is probably the best bargaining position that John Deere has been in many years,” Orazem said. “I mean the company is doing very well and the company wants to be expanding and doesn’t have enough workers”

John Deere is projected to earn $6 Billion this fiscal year, which is a new record - shattering the previous revenue record set in 2013 by 61%.

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