John Deere Strike Ends As UAW Workers Approve New Contract

Manufacturer Deere & Co.’s employees have ended a month-long strike after the United Auto Workers or UAW union approved the company’s latest contract offer.

UAW, which represents more than 10,000 Deere workers, announced Wednesday that 61 percent of its members had voted in favor of the deal, compared to 39 percent against. The employees are expected to return to work starting Thursday.

The latest contract offer includes an $8,500 signing bonus, a 10 percent immediate raise, additional 5 percent raises in the third and fifth year of the proposed six-year deal, and other benefits including retirement boosts.

Deere union workers had been on strike for the past nearly five weeks fighting for greater pay and benefits.

On October 1, the union had reached an initial tentative agreement with the company, but most of the rank-and-file members voted against the deal in a voting that concluded on October 10. Following this, the employees started the strike demanding better terms.

The second contract offer was also rejected in a November 2 voting, though it gained more support with 45 percent voting in favor a deal.

According to the union, the latest offer had modest modifications from the previous one they rejected earlier this month.

Commenting on the agreement, UAW Vice President Chuck Browning, head of the unit of the union that deals with Deere, said, “Our members courageous willingness to strike in order to attain a better standard of living and a more secure retirement resulted in a groundbreaking contract and sets a new standard for workers not only within the UAW but throughout the country.”

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