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Whew … Deere strike averted … for now

UAW members still need to ratify the labor agreement.

It appears Deere & Company has dodged a potentially disrupting labor strike at a time when it’s all hands on deck to build machinery to meet growing demand.

Brad Morris of Deere & Company released a statement: “After six weeks of negotiations, John Deere and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement that honors the enormous contributions of John Deere’s production and maintenance employees and builds a strong foundation for our shared success in the future. Through this agreement, John Deere reinforces our long-standing commitment to provide employees the opportunities to earn the best wages and most comprehensive benefits in the agriculture and construction industries.”

UAW (United Auto Workers) International president, Ray Curry, announced that “Our UAW John Deere national bargaining team worked tirelessly to create substantial gains for members.”

The UAW did not release details of the agreement and won’t do so until all UAW members at Deere manufacturing locations have reviewed the terms on October 10.

The UAW’s current contract was set to expire October 1. 

The labor agreement impacts 10,100 employs at 12 Deere & Company facilities.

Shortages of steel, computer chips, tires, a variety of parts, etc., has stymied machinery manufacturers from meeting orders for new machinery, which have burgeoned since last winter. 

It is not unusual for farmers to have to wait six months or longer to get a new tractor, combine, or planter.

Supplies of late-model machinery are slim, at best. So a strike right now could be disastrous for farmers wanting to upgrade their equipment technology.

Over 30 years have passed since Deere’s last strike. Lasting five months, that labor dispute cost the company $100 million.

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