John Deere’s 10,000-plus employees are to receive an $8,500 bonus, which appears to be a major victory for employees in the strike against the famed agricultural machinery company.
Employees of John Deere, who are members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to agree a deal with the firm that would see them receive an immediate 10 percent pay increase.
The strike lasted five weeks and was putting the firm’s operations in serious trouble, with software engineers and computer programmers reassigning manufacturing plants.
John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company, which manufactures the most well-known agricultural machinery as well as heavy equipment, forestry machinery and other products.
UAW members approved the six-year deal by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent on Wednesday. It follows two other failed agreements.
In addition to an immediate 10 percent increase, workers will receive a signing bonus of $8,500 in the second, fourth and sixth years of the contract, a 20 percent wage increase over the lifetime of the contract, and a lump sum payment equal to 3 percent of wages.
In a statement on Wednesday, the UAW welcomed the agreement and appeared to link it to macroeconomic conditions in the US.
“A strike that captured the mood of a nation in its quest for fairness in wages and benefits for workers ended today when members of the UAW John Deere reached a historic settlement after weeks of strike,” the statement said. to be confirmed.”
The strike delayed making the replacement parts that many American farmers rely on, and saw the cost of used farm equipment reach record highs. This involved bidding wars for used tractors – an essential piece of agricultural equipment.
UAW President Ray Curry thanked members for “their willingness to make sacrifices,” according to a union statement.
“The members of UAW John Deere not only united themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in the struggle for fairness in the workplace. We couldn’t be more proud of these UAW members and their families,” Curry said.
UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said the members had secured “an important contract” and “set a new standard for workers not only within the UAW but across the country.”
Deere & Company CEO John May also welcomed the agreement.
“I am delighted that our highly skilled workforce is back to work,” May said. “The success of John Deere depends on the success of our people. Through our new collective bargaining agreements, we are giving employees the opportunity to earn salaries and benefits that are among the best in our industries and are valued in many ways. “
The company will notify employees that they are now back at work.