Strike hits an already tight farm machinery supply line as Deere & Co workers throw down tools

It’s the UAW workers that are up in arms about pay conditions, and have walked off the job and threaten Deere & Co with a protracted shut-down unless their demands are met.

The UAW strike has a compound affect across more than 10,000 workers at 14 of Deere & Co factories across the United States.

This is not a union to tussle with, apart from having a name that could feature in the Guiness Book of records as the longest, The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), union members already have the manacle of being the highest paid in the agriculture and construction industries.

Deere & Co has been on the ropes since mid-August this year when union officials came out swinging over a new bargaining deal for its members, and with their previous award expiring on 1 October, the intent has moved to a full strike and stand-off.

The UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department union officials have made it clear that Deere & Co will have stump up to the union’s demands or the strike will continue until their members’ goals are achieved.

Brad Morris is the vice president of labour relations at Deere & Co and has outlined the company’s position, “We are determined to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries.

“We will keep working day and night to understand our employees’ priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve.”

No-one in the industry has any idea how the long the strike will run, but say it could very well be drawn out as Deere & Co has activated its Customer Service Continuation (CSC) Plan, and this allows non-factory employees and others to enter the factories to keep some operations running. A move that has angered the UAW further.

At this stage, the current collective bargaining agreement put to the union rank and file was rejected by a majority of 90% of the membership.

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