Strike by John Deere Workers

Last Thursday, October 14, 2021, there was a strike launched at various John Deere plants as thousands of workers walked off and refused to work. This was a result of the contract proposal made by the company that offered less than what the workers had expected. The members of the United Auto Workers rejected the contract, and thousands of workers walked off the job.

In the offer made by the company, there was a raise of five to six percent included. However, according to the union officials, the contract proposal is not adequate when considering the retirement and wage goals of the employees. Since there is such a worker shortage and many companies are scrambling to find workers to fill available positions, workers are looking to regain the benefits that they had prior to the late 90s. After such a long time, the workers feel that the odds are in their favor.

Workers are optimistic about the current situation considering the labor shortage right now. The company has also seen record profits in recent years. The workers believe that with the current package it is offering, John Deere will not be able to hire enough employees. According to the company’s spokesperson, John Deere wishes to make sure that the employees are all in a more favorable economic condition and are among some of the highest paid in the agriculture and construction industries.

Around 10,000 workers in fourteen different Deere plants have been involved in the strike. Right now, the company is following a continuity plan in order to keep operations going. The focus of the company at the present time remains meeting the demands of the customers, especially those whose work is time sensitive.

There are many industries that the strike is affecting, but the company is focused on the more critical industries like construction and agriculture. Several food plants are among other industries that have also been impacted. There, thousands of people have gone on strike to oppose things like work hours, pay, and benefits.

Workers are asking for a bigger share of the profits made during the pandemic. Most companies in the industry have seen an incredible rise in their fortunes over the last year. John Deere hit a record high of 1.79 billion dollars in earning in the second quarter alone.

In particular, the company’s yellow and green branded tractor has attained great success in the United States along with a few other home products like lawn mowers. The tractor is not only a huge success in America but expects significant growth globally as well. However, with the labor challenges that the company is currently facing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for John Deere to deliver on the customer needs. 

John Deere officials have proclaimed that the wages offered to their employees are superior to many others in the industry. The workers, however, are more interested in regaining the retirement benefits that they had in the early the 90s. The strike has not had any major impact on the company’s stock price as of yet.