John Deere workers approve new contract, end strike

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John Deere workers approve new contract, end strike

More than 10,000 John Deere workers walked off the picket line Wednesday night as their union ratified a new contract after a month-long strike.

The Illinois manufacturers’ United Auto Workers members voted in favor of a new agreement that included an $8,500 signing bonus and a ten percent wage increase this year, along with enhanced retirement and performance benefits, the union said in a press release.

The six-year agreement also stipulated cost of living adjustments and lump sum payments. It was approved by 61 percent of UAW’s members, according to the release.

John Deere protestors
About 90 percent of the union’s members voted down the company’s contract proposal earlier this month.
AP / Charlie Neibergall
John Deere protestors
More than 10,000 workers went on strike in October.
AP / Charlie Neibergall
John Deere tractors.
The Illinois manufacturers’ United Auto Workers members voted in favor of a new agreement that included a $8,500 signing bonus and a ten percent wage increase this year.
Mark Reinstein/MediaPunch

“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,” said Chuck Browning, Vice President of the UAW and Director of the UAW Agricultural Implement department.

Workers from 14 Deere & Co. US facilities walked off the job on Oct. 14 after rejecting a contract proposal from the company, whose stock had hit an all-time high of just over $400 earlier this year.

About 90 percent of the union’s members voted down the company’s contract proposal earlier this month.

The dispute “captured the mood of a nation in search of fairness in wages and benefits for workers,” labor officials said Wednesday.

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