Early this morning, 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike.
Apparently, the United Auto Workers union stated that “the company failed to present an agreement that met our members’ demands and needs.” The result was thousands going on strike until something changes.
The workers walked off the job after the union denied creating an improvement that would allow a 5% raise for some workers and a 6% raise for others.
Deere & Co. Workers on Strike for Better Wages
According to Market Watch, it’s been 35 years since Deere & Co. workers have gone on strike. When it comes to a year when a raise was deserved, it was certainly after these past few years. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused workers to work longer hours as they try to combat the decrease in the number of workers in the workforce.
Not only has the number of workers decreased, but Deere & Co. has been getting good business as well. There have been reported strong sales, especially with agriculture and construction equipment.
Workers are in high demand right now, especially for food and service industry jobs. For Deere & Co. the small raise request is worth it to many going on strike.
“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules. We stay committed to bargaining until our members’ goals are achieved,” said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department to the news outlet.
Standing in Solidarity
In addition to the 10,000 workers on strike, millions more retired or active members are also standing in solidarity with the strikers.
These contracts will continue to go under negotiation. The states in which they are active include Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, and Georgia.
If the strike goes on too long, it could prove to be a bit detrimental. These Deere & Co. production plants are a key part of our economy. It’s a difficult time for many workers out there right now.
“The whole nation’s going to be watching us. If we take a stand here for ourselves, our families, for basic human prosperity, it’s going to make a difference for the whole manufacturing industry. Let’s do it. Let’s not be intimidated,” Chris Laursen, a painter at Deere & Co., said, according to ABC News.
More Strikes Across the Country
This situation with Deere & Co. is not an abnormal occurrence right now.
According to Time, thousands of workers have gone on strike all across the country in order to show their current power in the struggling economy. Wages are also increasing across all industries as workers demand more and employers try to desperately retain workers.
In the first five days of October alone, there were 10 strikes. This includes Kellogg plants, school bus drivers, janitors, and many more. Nurses and even film and TV production workers have also gone on strike as well.