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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Deere strikes third preliminary deal with Union in a bid to end strike

United Automobile Workers said late Friday that agricultural equipment maker Deere & Company amended a previously signed agreement that was rejected by its members, calling for another vote to end the nearly month-long strike.

The strike began on October 14, a few days after some 10,000 workers, mostly in Iowa and Illinois, overwhelmingly rejected the agreement between the company and the union.

The original agreement would have raised wages by 5 or 6 percent this year, depending on the worker’s wage level, and another 3 percent in both 2023 and 2025. It would deprive future employees of traditional retirement benefits.

A second agreement, reached in late October, would increase wages by 10 percent this year and 5 percent in the third and fifth years of a six-year contract, while providing a lump sum equal to 3 percent of annual wages in each even-numbered period. years.

It would also provide a traditional pension for prospective employees, which many current members have identified as a priority, and create a new post-retirement health care fund.

But members nevertheless rejected the proposal on November 2, albeit with a much smaller margin of 55 to 45 percent. Some workers speculated that the initial wage increases were still too low for the company, which had forecast nearly $ 6 billion in profits this fiscal year. Others expressed concern about the company’s performance incentive plan and felt that the company’s commitment to improve it was too vague. …

After the second negative vote, Deere said it had made the best and final offer and had no plans to reopen negotiations. But since then, the parties have been negotiating.

A Deere spokesperson said via email on Tuesday that “we are still in talks with the UAW and remain receptive to any suggestions the UAW may make,” adding that “we have reached the maximum in terms of total new costs.”

A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday, and the UAW statement did not provide details on the latest proposal or when the deal will be voted on. He called the offer “Deere’s latest, best and final offering.”

Labor experts say both sides can sometimes make adjustments to issues that are not strictly economic at this stage of negotiations, such as company disciplinary policies.

The strike comes as many employers across the country face labor shortages and workers appear to be taking a tougher stance against employers, resulting in more work stoppages.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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