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Businesses provide free food, discounts to Deere employees on strike

Various local businesses have stepped up on social media in support of John Deere employees on...
Various local businesses have stepped up on social media in support of John Deere employees on strike.
Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 12:18 AM CDT
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QUAD CITIES(KWQC) - Various local businesses have stepped up on social media in support of John Deere employees on strike. Restaurants including The Pub, Legends Corner, Fields of Pizza, The Captain’s Table, and Tap 22 (a larger list will be included at the end of the story) have offered free or discounted meals for any UAW member that shows their union card.

Some restaurants like The Pub and Legends Corner in Milan even have picket signs on their windows stating UAW STRIKE, showing their support to union members.

Mel Hesse owns The Pub and is offering free pulled pork sandwiches to those on the picket line. On Friday, she cooked 70 pounds of pork and was offering it to members until she ran out. That’s something Hesse says she’ll do at least once a week. “Wefelt we needed to help out a little and support them. My husband is a union worker and a lot of them have supported me over the years so we had to support them,” she adds.

Right next door, Legends Corner is offering a an $8 meal for a burger and beer. Greg Hiner says he was borned and raised in the Quad Cities and says strikes like these “impact all of the Quad Cities... you learn to help all you can.”

Hiner says he’s graetful to the Quad Citians who supported local businesses during the tough time of the pandemic and ordered food to-go, even though he realizes it’s not the same as an indoor dining experience. “They did it simply to make sure we stayed in business. We’re very grateful for that and are returning the favor,” says Hiner.

Eric Maurer, Kitchen Manager at Legends says he hopes the discounted meals help because he realizes union members “aregoing to be a little tight on their paychecks for the while” and he thinks the community support helps show solidarity for the working class.

On Facebook there’s now a page QC Support the John Deere Strikers (previously known as QC Feed John Deere Strikers) where union members can find help during the strike. Amber Olson put the page together and says she’s grateful for the support, especialy since her husband and father-in-law are union members themselves.

“John Deere is a huge part of the Quad Cities. So it’s not surprising the local businesses want to help out,” says Olson.

She says union members are our families and friends who “need our support right now. They need to know that the community stands with their efforts that they’re doing right now. So it’s very important as a whole for everyone to see what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and why they need their support.”

QC Feed John Deere Strikers was created Friday evening and already has hundreds of members. On the page, there are ways for restaurants and Quad Citians to sign up to sponsor meals for those on the picket line through the rest of the year.

John Deere has released a statement saying the company is working day and night to reach a resolution.”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 & Company. “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, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve.”

Some local busineesses offering their support (not an exhaustive list). Check their Facebook for details.

  • The Pub
  • Legends Corner
  • Fields Bar and Fields of Pizza
  • The Captain’s Table
  • I-Rock 93.5
  • Jim’s Knoxville Tap
  • The Q
  • TAP 22
  • Rustic Barbershop
  • Doug’s Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Rye Meadow Photography
  • Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds

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