Deere employees reject contract offer, will stay on strike

Workers have been on strike since Oct. 14

The striking workers at Deere & Co. on Tuesday rejected a contract offer from the company that would have given them 10% pay increases and said they will remain on strike.

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The rejected deal that was reached over the weekend contained raises twice as large as the ones in the original offer. United Auto Workers union members rejected that one last month.

Workers have been on strike since Oct. 14. 

The benefits would have also provided an $8,500 ratification bonus, preserved a pension option for new employees, made workers eligible for health insurance sooner and maintained their no-premium health insurance coverage.

Members of the United Auto Workers listen to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speak outside of a John Deere plant, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Ankeny, Iowa. About 10,000 UAW workers have gone on strike against John Deere since last Thursday at plan ((AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) / AP Newsroom)

The disputed contract covers more than 10,000 Deere workers at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. 

A smaller group of about 100 workers at two Deere facilities in Colorado and Georgia voted to accept an identical deal.

STRIKING DEERE WORKERS ARE SET TO VOTE TUESDAY ON NEW CONTRACT OFFER

The union said 55% of its members at the 12 main plants voted against this latest contract offer Tuesday.

Last month, 90% of union members also rejected a proposed contract that included immediate 5% raises for some workers and 6% for others, and 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.

Members of the United Auto Workers strike outside of a John Deere plant, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Ankeny, Iowa. About 10,000 UAW workers have gone on strike against John Deere since last Thursday at plants in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. (AP Photo/ ((AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) / AP Newsroom)

Deere officials said they were disappointed the agreement was voted down.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DE DEERE & CO. 380.50 +1.08 +0.28%

"Through the agreements reached with the UAW, John Deere would have invested an additional $3.5 billion in our employees, and by extension, our communities, to significantly enhance wages and benefits that were already the best and most comprehensive in our industries," said Marc A. Howze, Deere's chief administrative officer. "This investment was the right one for Deere, our employees, and everyone we serve together."

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Sales have been strong at the Moline, Illinois-based company this year as the economy continued to recover from the pandemic. Deere has predicted it will report record profits this year between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.