Updated Jan. 17, 2022, 1:20 p.m. CST
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Summary of Updates:
- Negotiations Begin Between John Deere and UAW
- UAW John Deere Employees Pass Strike Authorization Vote
- Tentative Labor Agreement Announced
- UAW Members Reject Tentative Labor Agreement
- John Deere Explains Healthcare Benefits in Tentative Agreement
- John Deere States the Company 'Made the Best Wages in the Industry Even Better' with Tentative Agreement
- Deere Explains Retirement Benefits in Rejected Labor Agreement
- John Deere Workers Begin Strike
- John Deere CEO Disposes of $463,000 in Stock Following Tentative Agreement Rejection
- John Deere Horicon Works Factory Contract Up for Negotiation in 2022
- Deere Granted Injunction Against Striking Davenport Works Employees
- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Visits Striking UAW Employees
- UAW Members to Vote on Direct Election of Leadership
- John Deere Maintains Healthcare, Incentive Pay During Strike
- Former CIH Exec Weighs in on Strike
- UAW Member Dies in Traffic Accident Outside John Deere Factory
- John Deere Exec Disposed of $1 Million in Shares During Negotiations
- Judge Denies Second Injunction from John Deere Against UAW Strikers
- John Deere & UAW Announce Second Tentative Labor Agreement
- Second John Deere/UAW Agreement Includes 10% Year 1 Raise, No Changes to Healthcare
- Survey Shows 54% of Dealers Do Not Support the John Deere Strike
- UAW Deere Workers Reject Second Tentative Agreement
- How Inflation, Deere's Financials Impact Strike Negotiations
- John Deere to End Negotiations Following Rejection of Second Agreement
- Over 80% of Deere Dealers Report Lost Revenue Due to Strike
- Deere Breaks Down Rejected Agreement Benefits to Employees
- John Deere Considers Using Overseas Plants, Strikebreakers to Combat UAW Strike
- John Deere Explains Details of Rejected Agreement on Employee Website
- Examining Deere's 'Contract Negotiations' Report
- Bernie Sanders' Campaign Donates $30,000 to UAW Strikers
- John Deere & UAW to Return to Resume Negotiations
- Deere Increases Number of Employees at Parts Fulfillment Centers by 60%
- Deere Strike Stirs Farmers’ Concerns
- Deere Factory Manager Details Latest Offer to Local Leaders
- Deere, UAW Reach 3rd Tentative Deal — 'Last, Best and Final Offer
- Deere Increases Warehouse Employee Workforce by 60% During Strike
- Deere's 'Last, Best, Final' Offer May Signal a Negotiations 'Impasse'
- Deere’s 3rd Offer to Boost Incentive Pay for Productivity; Vote Coming Nov. 17
- Brandt Tractor CEO Says UAW Strike a 'Non-Event' in Canada
- Survey Finds 58% of Iowans Side with UAW Workers
- UAW Worker Voting to Continue into the Evening
- John Deere UAW Members Ratify Deere's Third Tentative Agreement
- Comparing How UAW Local Unions Voted on the Third Agreement
- How Inflation Impacted Deere's Contract Negotiations
- Deere Could Raise Equipment Prices 1.5% to Combat New Labor Costs
- Strike's Impact on Deere's Production, Earnings
- John Deere Announces 8% Raise for Salaried Employees
- Deere Execs Explain Financial Impact of UAW Strike
- Examining the Strike's Impact on Deere New Equipment Prices
- UAW Deere Workers Won Triple the Average Union Raise
- Titan International Chairman Explains Strike's Impact on TWI Business
- Dealers Describe Impact, ‘Lessons Learned’ from UAW Strike
Jan. 17, 2022
As a follow-up to the impact the John Deere/UAW strike had on dealers, a survey from Ag Equipment Intelligence conducted from Jan. 5-7, 2022, asked dealers of all brands how the strike had impacted their business, what they learned and what the strike might change in the industry.
By brand, 15.3% of respondents were Deere dealers, 22.5% were Case IH dealers, 8.2% were AGCO dealers, 11.2% were New Holland dealers, 17.4% were Kubota dealers and 23.5% chose the “other” category, where dealers listed shortline brands such as Claas, Versatile and Mahindra.
Some 20.5% of all surveyed dealers indicated they’d won over more farmers to their respective major-line equipment brand than usual in the fourth quarter of 2021. Another 10.3% said they’d lost more of these attempted conversions than usual. Nearly 70% said they’d seen no change in color conversions.
Commentary from dealers suggests inventory problems were one reason a majority did not see a change in their attempts at changing farmers’ brands. As one Kubota dealer put it, “All colors were having supply problems, or so it seems. Our customers are exhibiting more patience than ever before.”
When asked if they would increase wholegoods and parts orders in years with expiring major-line labor contracts, nearly 28% of surveyed dealers said they would. Another 30.4% said they wouldn’t, and 41.7% were unsure.
To see expanded coverage of the survey, click here.
Dec. 10, 2021
In a recent press release, Titan International Chairman of the Board Morry Taylor said during the UAW strike, Titan International (TWI) was able to supply "more product to other customers."
"This past quarter on our earnings call a question was asked in reference to John Deere's strike and how it would affect Titan," he said. "John Deere is one of TWI's largest customers. During the strike TWI kept John Deere supplied with wheels and tires, but while the strike was taking place (it is now over), Titan was able to supply more product to our other customers. So the strike did not have any negative, only positive, financial effect on Titan."
Dec. 7, 2021
A November report from the Des Moines Register (UAW members won big gains in their strike of John Deere. Will other Iowa workers follow?) quoted a Bloomberg Law database in saying UAW Deere workers' 10% wage increase won in the recent contract is more than triple the average raise a union worker receives in a new agreement. The report states, "Even in the first half of 2021, with a tight labor market, its [Bloomberg's] data showed the average new contract netted a 3% first-year wage increase."
Dec. 6, 2021
In a Dec. 3, 2021 report from Spectrum News (Ag Report: John Deere, wage increases and possible prices hikes), Anchor Chuck Ringwalt spoke with the station's Agriculture Expert Andy Vance on the possible effects the UAW strike could have on equipment prices.
"If labor costs, if costs of input go up, then the price of the finished goods is going to go up," says Vance. "Now is it going to go up the 10% of the labor cost increase there? No. I was reading one analysis from JP Morgan figure, maybe 1.5% price increase, and that's probably pretty typical. Prices for farm equipment have gone up considerably during my lifetime.
"Some of that's because we're producing larger, more efficient, more technologically advanced pieces of equipment. Some of it's because financing is cheap, frankly. So farmers have been able to buy more newer, larger, more technically advanced pieces of equipment because the cost of capital is fairly inexpensive when you can get financing interest rates as cheap as they've been, you know, basically for a generation now.”
Dec. 3, 2021
In the earnings call for its fiscal year 2021 earnings report, John Deere execs shared details of the recent UAW strike’s financial impact on the company. Director of Investment Relations Josh Jepsen said, “Over the six-year contract, the incremental cost will be between $250 million and $300 million pretax per year, with 80% of that impacting operating margins.” He adds that Deere expects equipment operations for the coming first quarter to be unchanged year-over-year, as “missing a few weeks plus of production will neutralize some of the benefits … of ramping up to higher line rates in December and January.”
Jepsen goes on to say, “All in, we expect first quarter margins to be mid- to high single digits for the equipment operations, with those businesses that have been most affected by the delayed ratification to be below that average.
“Looking beyond the first quarter though, we do expect margins for the rest of the year to be more favorable and incrementals more in line with historical averages. Stepping back and thinking about the full year impact on margins, we'd say it will be about one point lower as a result of a combination of work stoppage and some of the supply disruption.”
When asked about the strike’s impact on planter deliveries, President of Production & Precision Ag Cory Reed said the company is confident about delivering planters, saying Deere has “a production plan that's commensurate with what our early order program is.” He added that Deere has made sure it could “surge components into its planting lines as people are coming back [to work].”
"The future success of our company depends on our ability to retain and recruit the best talent in an increasingly competitive global marketplace," spokesperson Jennifer Hartmann said in a statement. "To do that, we’re committed to putting every one of our employees in a better economic position."
Nov. 24, 2021
According to a report from the Des Moines Register, Deere has announced an 8% pay increase for salaried employees following the end of the UAW strike.
"The future success of our company depends on our ability to retain and recruit the best talent in an increasingly competitive global marketplace," spokesperson Jennifer Hartmann said in a statement. "To do that, we’re committed to putting every one of our employees in a better economic position."
Nov. 23, 2021
Bob Tita, in a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, quoted William Blair & Co. in saying the recent strike by UAW workers likely cut Deere's production "by 10% to 15% in both its fourth and first quarters." He adds that the strike brought the consensus estimate for Deere's upcoming earnings to slip from $4.04 in late September to $3.87, according to FactSet. "Analysts anticipate equipment sales of $10.5 billion, which would be a 20% increase from the same period last year," he adds.
Tita goes on to say that analysts believe low inventories on both new and used farm equipment, coupled with supply chain issues, have kept Deere's competitors from taking advantage of Deere's strike problems by ramping up their own production, saying, "They [analysts] also said the tight market gives Deere the ability to charge higher prices, at least in the short term, to recover some of its higher labor expenses from the new contract, which Deere said will cost it $3.5 billion over the course of the six-year contract." Analysts also believes labor accounnts for 15% of Deere's cost of goods sold.
Tita quoted Stephen Volkmann, analyst for Jefferies Research Service LLC, as saying "The 10% pay raise and $8,500 bonus that each UAW member will receive and raises awarded to nonunion employees as well are expected to cost Deere about $235 million in the first year of the six-year contract." Volkman estimates these new costs will take 1% off Deere's operating margin. Deere reported it had increased prices on large farm equipment by about 8% in its concluded fiscal year.
Nov. 23, 2021
A recent article from Marketplace quoted Machinery Analyst for JP Morgan Ann Duigan as saying that, based on her calculations, Deere "would need to raise prices by around 1.5% to offset the increase in labor costs."
"I have heard farmers describe Deere as the new Apple," says Duigan. "Where, you know, prices continue to rise, but there’s nowhere to go. So you have to keep buying the product.”
Nov. 23, 2021
A recent editorial from the Wall Street Journal examined how inflation and cost of living adjustments (COLA) impacted negotiations between John Deere and UAW.
Among the benefits Deere workers acquired, the editorial indicates COLA will be an important economic signal
The agreement UAW workers accepted included an $8,500 ratification bonus, an immediate 10% raise, two 5% raises and 2 large bonuses through 2026. The original offer included 5% and 3% raises, "which were dwarfed by the 6.2% rise in consumer prices since October 2020." The article reported that total retirement benefits for the average Deere UAW worker will rise by $270,000.
The article states that, "Deere is on pace to have its most profitable year in 2021, despite the drag from supply-chain issues. But the labor agreement will take a big chunk of future earnings, costing north of $3.5 billion. To address workers’ fears about long-term living costs, Deere had to offer raises with a looser connection to each worker’s expected productivity.
"...the alarm bell for the Fed should be the automatic cost-of-living adjustments. Those were a feature of the 1970s economy but faded as inflation was brought under control. The longer inflation stays high today, the more workers will demand COLAs, putting employers on the hook for long-term costs they can’t control. Once COLAs are embedded into labor contracts, they become hard to wring out. This is how you get a wage-price spiral and durable inflation."
Nov. 18, 2021
Since last night's vote to ratify Deere' third tentative agreement, some UAW Locals have posted their individual voting results. The results that Ag Equipment Intelligence has been able to confirm are as follows:
- UAW Local 281, Davenport, Iowa — 77% yes, 23% no
- UAW Local 450, Des Moines, Iowa — 64% yes, 36% no
- UAW Local 838, Waterloo, Iowa — 44% yes, 56% no
For now, it appears that UAW Local 838 out of Waterloo, Iowa, is the only UAW Local to report a majority "no" vote.
Nov. 17, 2021
According to a press release from UAW, by a vote of 61% to 39%, UAW John Deere members have ratified the latest tentative agreement from John Deere. The agreement includes an $8,500 signing bonus; 20% increase in wages over the lifetime of the contract with 10% this year; return of Cost of Living adjustments; three 3% lump sum payments; enhanced options for retirement and enhanced CIPP performance benefits. Healthcare remains the same for the life of the agreement.
The agreement covers more than 10,000 workers at 14 facilities across the United States.
Operations will resume on third shift Nov. 17, 2021.
“I’m very glad that our highly skilled employees are back to work building and supporting the industry-leading products that will make our customers more profitable and sustainable,” said John C. May, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Deere. “John Deere’s success depends on the success of our people. Through our new collective bargaining agreements, we’re giving employees the opportunity to earn wages and benefits that are the best in our industries and are groundbreaking in many ways. We have faith that, in return, our employees will find new and better ways to improve our competitiveness and transform the way our customers do their work. Together, our future is bright.”
UAW President Ray Curry, on behalf of the International Executive Board, thanked the members and families of UAW John Deere for their willingness to sacrifice. “UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace. We could not be more proud of these UAW members and their families.”
Nov. 17, 2021
A recent Facebook post from UAW Local 838 in Waterloo, Iowa, showed the union scheduling voting hours by its members' last names, with the final voting block scheduled from 6-7 p.m. According to the post, voting began at 7 a.m.
Waterloo Works employees 3,100 of the 10,100 striking UAW employees and more than 70% of Waterloo’s UAW Local 838 workers rejected the previous agreement.
Other local unions closed voting earlier. UAW Local 281 out of Davenport opened its polls at 10 a.m. and closed them at 1 p.m. according to its Facebook page.
Nov. 17, 2021
A recent study from the Des Moines Register found that 58% of Iowans side with the striking UAW workers over John Deere. Around 16% say they side with John Deere, 19% were unsure and 7% sided with neither. The poll was conducted from Nov. 7-10 and surveyed 810 Iowans.
The study found that, "Younger Iowans, Democrats and those without a religious affiliation are the most likely to say they support the workers over the company." The report also found that 48% Iowans in rural communities sided with UAW workers and 25% sided with John Deere. Additionally, 54% of Iowans in towns supported UAW workers, as did 60% of those living in suburbs and 67% of those living in cities. The percentage of Iowans siding with John Deere in the strike were 14% in towns, 12% in suburbs and 14% in cities.
The report also quoted an August 2021 survey from Gallup poll that found 68% of Americans approve of labor unions, "the highest percentage since 1965."
Nov. 17, 2021
In a recent interview with Ag Equipment Intelligence, Brandt Tractor CEO Shaun Semple said warehouses in Canada remain unaffected by the UAW strike that continues in the U.S.
"None of the warehouses here were affected. We also have our own corporate warehouses, as well as our branch warehouses," says Semple. "We had a very large inventory of parts already before the strike happened, so it really has been a non-event for us here in Canada. I suspect that UAW and John Deere will come to terms here soon and get back to work soon."
Nov. 16, 2021
A report by the Wall Street Journal’s Bob Tita was released online on the afternoon of Nov. 16. The article explains the changes to John Deere’s latest (Nov. 12) offer to the UAW, which will be voted on by on-strike employees on Wednesday Nov. 17.
The article (which referenced a summary of the offer received by union employees) states that Deere’s new offer raises base productivity pay 4%. Wage increases, bonuses and improvements in pension funding are unchanged, say the employees contacted by WSJ.
WSJ reports that about 66% of UAW-represented Deere workers receive production-based compensation. The new proposal increases the baseline for workers in the program from a current 115% level of their weekly pay to 120%. This means Deere expects employees to routinely earn 20% more than their regular weekly through higher output, writes Tita.
The latest offer would also distribute eligible funds quarterly vs. the current semiannual schedule and includes provisions for less frequent goal changing as well as supply chain issues.
UAW Local 450 out of Des Moines, Iowa, posted the following images to their Facebook page on Nov. 15, giving more detail on the increase in production-based compensation.
Nov. 16, 2021
A report from the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier quoted James Cooney, employment law expert at Rutgers University, as saying "an official, best and last offer could signify Deere is at an impasse in negotiations." The report said the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) requires an employer and unions to actively negotiate on employment terms “until they agree on a labor contract or reach a stand-off or ‘impasse.'"
“That’s not an agreement with the company when saying ‘Hey, this is our last, best, final offer,’” Cooney said. “A union may take that back to the membership but, on the other hand, may choose not to, especially if it’s perceived as more of a threat. And that’s why there’s probably more going on behind the scenes than certainly I’m aware of, on both sides.”
An impasse would legally allow Deere to implement the terms of the "final" agreement even if UAW members vote it down, according to Cooney.
“If there is a true impasse, the law does allow an employer to unilaterally impose the conditions, but very often, there’s not a true impasse and a third party such as the National Labor Relations Board might disagree that there was no further room for bargaining,” Cooney said. UAW could then file an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, which, if the NLRB finds Deere guilty, could force negotiations back into motion.
There's also the option for John Deere and UAW to bring in a third-party negotiator, such as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Strikers workers from Waterloo Works were quoted as saying they thought Deere was not "negotiating in good faith," with one worker saying, "We just want higher wages. They can get rid of that ratification bonus.” Members said Deere misrepresented how much employees are paid, including CIP pay for meeting quotas that "they say Waterloo works don't routinely get because of shortages." Picketers indicated they would vote the contract down again if it didn't address these issues.
Waterloo Works employees 3,100 of the 10,100 striking UAW employees.
Nov. 15, 2021
A recent article from the Des Moines Register by Tyler Jett tackled the issue of who is better suited to hold out in the strike: John Deere or UAW workers. Some of the article's highlights are below:
- Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University, says, "The pressures on Deere are not quite as steep as those on workers. Idling any part of a factory is expensive, but the company had $7.5 billion in cash on hand as of Aug. 1."
- The UAW is striking during Deere's slowest time of the year, though a universally slow supply chain will "stymie competitors from gaining ground."
- According to Adam Seiden, a machinery, engineering and construction equity researcher at the Barclays investment firm, Deere has increased the number of employees in warehouses by 60% since Oct. 14, based on geolocation data estimating the number of active cellphones in certain areas.
- A separate report from Bloomberg found some Deere dealers are waiting up to 3 weeks on parts that normally take 2-3 days to arrive.
- The report stated, "[Seiden's analysis] showed the number of people working in foundries and engine and drivetrain factories dropped about 13%. In agriculture and turf equipment factories, the drop was 34%. In construction and forestry equipment factories, the number of workers was down 62%." Seiden states the strike has occurred in a time that Deere historically draws back production.
- The report also stated that, "A Des Moines Register analysis of financial reports going back to 1997 found that the company typically records about 19% of its annual sales in the first quarter. That three-month stretch is consistently the company's weakest period."
Nov. 13, 2021
According to a release from UAW, John Deere has made a last, best and final offer to the UAW negotiating team that includes modest modifications to the last tentative agreement presented for ratification on Nov 2.
"As a result, the UAW will present the Company’s offer for ratification and, as has been the case throughout the bargaining process, will support the outcome as determined by our members," the UAW said in a release.
The strike continues and voting information will be provided by the Local Union, according to Brian Rothenberg, UAW. According to a report by the Des Moines Register, union members will vote on the contract on Wednesday, however it is unclear when members will be given details about the contract.
Nov. 13, 2021
According to a report by the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Rebecca Guinn, who is a factory manager at John Deere Waterloo Works, emailed over 150 people — from business leaders to local elected officials and municipal workers — informing them about updates on Deere’s “ongoing negotiations with the UAW.”
In the email, Guinn points out that the company’s latest offer was struck down by the majority of workers, and more specifically more than 70% of Waterloo’s UAW Local 838 workers rejected it. According the Courier, Local 828 is the largest among Deere unions.
The report goes on to say:
"While there has been a great deal of media attention surrounding this vote and the ongoing strike, I felt it was important to share the details of John Deere's offer directly with you," Guinn wrote to local leaders.
The email included what Guinn said is the full offer as presented by Deere and Co., as well as a sheet highlighting what the company says is "groundbreaking" and "the best in our industries" wage and benefit offers.
Below is the email from Guinn, as posted by the Courier.
Dear Elected Officials and Community Leaders,
I’m writing to share an update on John Deere’s ongoing negotiations with the UAW. As you’re likely aware, on Nov. 2, John Deere production and maintenance employees from 12 facilities in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas narrowly rejected a second tentative agreement reached with the UAW bargaining committee. While there has been a great deal of media attention surrounding this vote and the ongoing strike, I felt it was important to share the details of John Deere’s offer directly with you.
Through our offer, John Deere would provide our employees, their families, and our home communities with the opportunity to share in our current and future success in the form of wages and benefits that are not only the best in our industries – they are groundbreaking. There are three aspects of our offer that no other major U.S. manufacturer provides as part of their UAW labor agreement:
• Cost-of-living adjustments every 3 months to protect employee wages against inflation- this is in addition to the raises noted below.
• Both a company-funded defined benefit pension plan and defined contribution plan (401k) to create greater security for employees in retirement
• Entirely new cash balance savings to provide employees with even more retirement income and flexibility
While these aspects of our offer are special, they’re part of a complete agreement that will provide significant and long-lasting economic improvements, including:
‒ Increasing wages immediately of 10%, with projected wage increases of 30% over the term of contract, amounting to $6-9 hourly wage increases
‒ Maintaining incentives and profit sharing that allow employees to earn even more as the entire company succeeds
‒ Continuing healthcare with $0 premiums, $0 deductibles, $0 coinsurance, and no changes to copayments
‒ Improving health-related benefits by adding paid parental leave and autism care
‒ Awarding a bonus of up to $50,000 at retirement
‒ Awarding a $8,500 bonus at ratification
To learn more about the terms of our offer and the principles that have guided our ongoing collective bargaining with the UAW, attached please find a one-page highlighter and a negotiations update. Thank you for your continued interest in the shared success of John Deere, our employees, and everyone in our home communities. We believe that by working together, our futures are bright.
Nov. 12, 2021
A November 9th Wall Street Journal article (“Deere Strike Stirs Farmers’ Concerns”) by Jesse Newman and Bob Tita included commentary from several John Deere dealers about impact.
Here are a few highlights from the WSJ article:
- Farmers’ demand for equipment has remained strong in 2021, and new equipment shortages have led farmers to shop the used market, further increasing prices and demand for the used. “It’s a really bullish market for used equipment,” said Tom Sloan, chairman of Sloan Implement Co. in Illinois. “Normally, we have too much.”
- The article raised the question of the impact of year-end purchases, which are deducted from farmers’ federal income taxes, and heavily relied upon by dealers.
- Farmers placing orders through Deere’s early ordering program that started in August typically get their equipment in January or February.
- Blue Riggan, owner of Arkansas-based Legacy Equipment LLC, is concerned over the delivery times of early-orders last summer. Typically, they’re delivered by January or February, but will be extended the longer the strike lasts. It the strike continues for a long time, he says delivery could be pushed to March or April, he says.
- On top of the 8% price hikes on early-order equipment that Deere noted in the August analyst call, WSJ reported that JP Morgan now estimates Deere would need to raise prices an additional 1.5% to cover the higher labor costs in the 6-year offer that Deere workers rejected.
- The article also quoted Brian Herringshaw, a former engineer at Deere who left to run his family’s farm in Ohio in 2016. He said high prices for used equipment had already deterred him from purchasing a planter and tractors, and that a run-up in machinery markets or supply disruptions stemming from the strike will compound farmers’ challenges. “It’s just one part of 1,000 problems this year,” he said.
Nov. 11, 2021
A report from the Des Moines Register cited a Barclays report when reporting that, "...cell phone location tracking found that Deere actually increased the number of workers at parts fulfillment centers by 60% in the weeks after the strike began, compared to the same period in 2019 and 2020." The report also stated the number of workers at ag equipment factories was down 34% and those at construction equipment factories was down 62%.
The report stated that the salaried employees John Deere has brought into the factories to keep operations running include "engineers, supervisors and financial services managers."
In the same report, Cory Reed, president of Deere's Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division acknowledged that "dealerships looking to add parts to their inventory are having to wait longer than usual."
Nov. 10, 2021
A report from Bloomberg said John Deere and UAW planned to return to the bargaining table on Nov. 11, according to "people familiar with the matter." This will be the first time the parties have met in over a week.
The report stated, "It’s unclear what details will be under discussion at the meeting in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public."
Nov. 10, 2021
A report from KWQC found that a GoFundMe page that had been set up to supply UAW workers with food and supplies had received a $30,000 donation from Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign. Total contributions came to $153,233 as of Nov. 10, 8:43 a.m. CST.
“I know that people are saying that they spend almost their entire checks on diapers, wipes and formula for their newborns”, says Angel Richmond, one of the fundraiser’s creators, reported KWQC. "And they haven’t worked at Deere very long, so they don’t have that big stockpile or any kind of stockpile saved up so it will help them a ton."
Nov. 9, 2021
Included in the letter emailed by Rebecca Guinn, factory manager at John Deere Waterloo Works, on Nov. 9 to 150 local business and elected officials was a 7-page PDF of “John Deere-UAW Negotiations Update.” In addition to a summary of Deere’s offer, the document included other facts and figures, including detailed tables of the number of production and maintenance employees by the 9 individual production sites, investments made in UAW facilities since 1997 ($5.7 billion) and listing of total suppliers by community and annual spend ($3.8 billion to suppliers in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas). Click here to download a PDF of the John Deere-UAW Negotiations Update.
Nov. 9, 2021
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website added some detail to the company's Nov. 8 post about a "Contract Highlighter." Deere's post stated the following to employees:
"You are part of John Deere. Every single day, we run to be the very best. We combine the best innovations, technologies, and great people like you to build on our legacy of world-class manufacturing. In return, you’ve earned the best wages and most comprehensive benefits in our industries.
You are part of John Deere’s future. That’s why we offered to make the best even better for you. With the second tentative agreement reached between John Deere and the UAW’s bargaining team, you could share in our current and future success through wages and benefits that are more than simply the best in our industries.
We want you to know precisely what's in the agreement, and the links here do just that. Check back often as new resources will continue to be added to the site."
The following graphics explained the benefits of the contract in more detail, including impacts on wage, healthcare and cost of living adjustments.
Nov. 8, 2021
A report from CNN quoted Deere's Chief Administrative Officer Marc Howze as saying importing products from its international factories to fill U.S. orders was something the company is "exploring."
"We've made commitments to our customers," Howze said in the CNN report. "We want to live up to those commitments."
When asked whether Deere was considering "either hiring replacement hourly workers or trying to convince some strikers to cross picket lines," Howze responded that, "All options are on the table as to what to do as we progress."
A separate report from KCRG quoted President of Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Production and Precision Ag for John Deere Corey Reed as saying, "In the quad cities, combines, the same S-Series combine is built in 3 different factories both in the US, in Brazil, and in Europe. So, we have a supply base that cuts across all three of those."
Nov. 8, 2021
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website, in a similar fashion to the first rejected agreement, highlighted the key facts of the contract for employees.
"You are part of John Deere’s future. That’s why we offered to make the best even better for you. With the second tentative agreement reached between John Deere and the UAW’s bargaining team, you could share in our current and future success through wages and benefits that are more than simply the best in our industries – they are ground-breaking," Deere stated on the website. The follow bulleted list was also included:
"No other UAW-US major manufacturer has a labor agreement that provides:
- Cost-of-living adjustments every 3 months for inflation. What does this mean to you? If inflation increases, your wages will too.
- A company-funded defined benefit pension plan and defined contribution plan (401k) to create more security in retirement. Why does this matter? In retirement, you’ll get a monthly pension payment from John Deere and the benefit of tax-deferred savings bolstered by the company.
- An entirely new cash balance savings to provide you with more retirement income and flexibility. What will this give you? Tens of thousands of dollars more to spend on yourself and your families after your career."
Click here to see the full "Contract Highlighter" that Deere provided to its employees.
Nov. 5, 2021
A recent poll from Ag Equipment Intelligence found that 92% of Deere dealers forecast some degree of aftermarket revenue loss should the strike continue through the end of the year.
The poll also asked Deere dealers about the current impact on their parts and service revenue since the strike began, their orders with independent parts suppliers and how the strike impacts their equipment orders from shortlines.
Below is a breakdown of Deere dealers' response to 6 questions they were asked.
Since the Strike Began, How Much Parts & Service Revenue Opportunity Have You Lost Due to a Lack of Parts Inventory?
Should the Strike Continue Through the End of the Year, How Much Parts & Service Revenue Opportunity Could You Lose?
Have Your Orders with Independent Aftermarket Parts Suppliers Increased as a Contingency Measure?
What Loss of Revenue do You Expect the Strike Will Have on new John Deere Wholegoods Purchases in 2022?
Are You Considering New Wholegoods Orders (Shortlines) in Anticipation of Further New John Deere Equipment Delays?
Which of the Statements Below Most Closely Align with Your Sentiments on the John Deere Strike?
|The rejection votes have narrowed considerably since the first agreement; this will be resolved shortly.
|This latest rejection indicates a drawn-out dispute is ahead.
|John Deere has made good faith effort to resolve this.
|John Deere has the financial resources to settle this dispute and commit to their demands over the life of the contract; workers deserve what they’re seeking.
|Greater concessions made now will lead to significant price increases and/or offshoring of production in the future.
|The UAW negotiators have twice agreed to a new agreement; the employees are being unreasonable.
Nov. 4, 2021
A recent report from Bloomberg quoted Deere's Chief Administrative Officer Marc Howze as saying the rejected second agreement was Deere's "best and final offer."
“In order for us to be competitive, we have gone as far as we’re gonna go," said Howze. Deere is reportedly remaining in contact with UAW but will not return to the negotiating table.
When asked about Deere's statement about moving to "the next phase of our Customer Service Continuation Plan," Howze only said that "the company is focused on meeting customer demand, especially for its part business."
Nov. 4, 2021
A recent report from the Wall Street Journal examined the role that inflation plays in the current strike negotiations, quoting Professor of Economics at Iowa State University Peter Orazem as saying, "Inflation hasn’t really entered the wage discussion for many years, and now it has to. Inflation expectations are starting to work their way into what people expect to be paid."
The report states that the rejected second agreement's cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which would have occurred every 3 months, were asked for by employees after they were left out of the 2015 agreement.
The report also says, "Companies like Deere are prone to yearslong sales slumps that industry analysts say make executives wary about committing to large wage increases over a long period. Deere said it has had to contend with higher costs for transportation, steel, semiconductor chips and other materials that have added $1.5 billion in expenses this year." It's also mentioned that labor makes up around 15% of Deere's costs for goods sold, with estimates from investment adviser Jefferies Research Services showing a 10% increase in Deere's costs for the striking workers would reduce the company's operating margins by 0.2 percentage points.
Nov. 3, 2021
A press release from UAW stated that by a vote of 45% yes to 55% no, UAW John Deere members voted down the agreement on the evening of Nov. 2. The union said the strike against John Deere and company will continue "as we discuss next steps with the company."
A statement from Deere on its One Deere website stated the following:
"The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) has informed Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) that the production and maintenance employees at 12 facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas have rejected a second tentative agreement. Employees at Deere parts facilities in Denver and Atlanta have voted in support of a separate agreement with identical economic terms."
“Through the agreements reached with the UAW, John Deere would have invested an additional $3.5 billion in our employees, and by extension, our communities, to significantly enhance wages and benefits that were already the best and most comprehensive in our industries,” said Marc A. Howze, group president, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer for Deere. “This investment was the right one for Deere, our employees, and everyone we serve together. Even though it would have created greater competitive challenges within our industries, we had faith in our employees’ ability to sharpen our competitive edge. With the rejection of the agreement covering our Midwest facilities, we will execute the next phase of our Customer Service Continuation Plan.”
Nov. 2, 2021
A recent poll from Farm Equipment showed that roughly 54% of dealers do not support the strike, while 37% said they did and 8.5% weren’t sure.
Commentary from dealers who do not support the strike suggested Deere’s record profits don’t necessarily mean employees should see raises. One dealer said, “When every business is struggling to find good employees, a strike is the kind of thing that holds a company back from progressing. Just because the employees see their company having large profits isn't a green light for the rank-and-file to get big raises. Employees have to understand that healthy profits for a company means more growth and expansion. It means the company has funds to put into R&D, advertising, product development, etc."
Dealers that do support the strike accused Deere of prioritizing its shareholders, with one dealer saying, “Deere needs to recognize the true value of the people that have made the company a success, whether it be factory workers or dealership employees. It seems to me the senior management at Deere are only interested in shareholder value and have completely forgot about what it is that has made the company successful.”
Nov. 1, 2021
A summary of the second tentative agreement between John Deere and UAW recently posted on Facebook by UAW Local 281 reveals upgraded wage increases, including a 10% raise in Year 1 and 5% raises in Years 3 and 5. Other notable items on the second agreement were:
- No changes to the current cost of healthcare for UAW Deere workers, including no deductibles and $0 in premiums
- $8,500 ratification bonus
- 2 weeks paid parental leave
- Increased pension monthly payment multiplier from $36 to $48
- Pension age lowered from 62 to 60
See below for the summary as it was posted.
Oct. 30, 2021
Deere & Company and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) today reached a second tentative agreement on a new six-year labor agreement covering approximately 10,100 production and maintenance employees at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. Deere and the UAW have also reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year labor agreement covering nearly 100 production and maintenance employees at Deere parts facilities in Denver and Atlanta.
Chuck Browning, UAW Vice President and Director of the Agricultural Implement Department said the agreement contains enhanced economic gains and continues to provide the highest quality healthcare benefits in the industry. “The negotiators focused on improving the areas of concern identified by our members during our last ratification process.”
The UAW will not release details of the Tentative Agreement until members at all John Deere locations have an opportunity to meet and review the terms of their proposed contract.
Oct. 28, 2021
A recent report from the The Hill found that District Court Judge Paul Scott denied Deere's request for an injunction against workers striking outside its Des Moines Works factory, saying Deere "was unable to prove the protesters were engaging in unlawful activity despite the videos it presented."
“The video evidence ... shows vehicles have been slowed down by picketers in crosswalks; it fails to prove illegal conduct has occurred," Scott wrote in his opinion. "Deere presumably has accumulated hours of video evidence at picket lines, possibly for the entirety of the Union’s demonstrations at these gates, and the videos are void of illegal conduct on the part of the Union.
"Deere has adequate remedies at law for violations or illegal conduct by the union. First, for criminal violations, Deere can avail itself of law enforcement. Second, it can go the NLRB to seek relief. The Court disagrees that enjoining the Union against violating traffic laws or trespass laws would offer assistance to law enforcement. Further, enjoining the Union from breaking the law is unnecessary and redundant. The criminal justice system is set up for this very purpose."
“Deere & Company sought a temporary injunction to maintain a safe environment for our contractors and employees, including those exercising their right to strike. Deere will continue working to ensure safe entry and exit to our facilities,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement to The Hill.
Oct. 27, 2021
According to SEC filings dated Aug. 26, 2021, John Deere Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer Marc A. Howze disposed of 2,734 John Deere shares, with a total estimated value of $1,038,400.54, based on a John Deere stock price of $379.81 on Aug. 26. Howze was left with 15,511 shares after the transaction, estimated to be valued at $5,288,165.23 based on a John Deere stock price $340.93 on Oct. 27, 2021. This follows reports that John Deere CEO John C. May had disposed of around $463,000 worth of Deere stock in the months leading up to the strike, with the transaction reported 2 days after the strike began.
Based on these stock prices, the 2,734 shares Howze sold have depreciated from $1,038,400.54 to $932,102.62 since Aug. 26, 2021.
Oct. 27, 2021
UAW issued a statement reporting that a 56-year-old member of Milan, Ill, Local 79, who was a 15-year employee at the Milan John Deere Parts Distribution Plant in Moline, Ill., had died in a traffic accident while walking to the picket line. “On behalf of the UAW and all working families, we mourn the passing of our UAW brother,” said Ray Curry, UAW president. “It is a somber time to lose a member who made the ultimate sacrifice in reporting to picket for a better life for his family and coworkers.” The UAW will adhere to the policy to withhold the member’s name until family members are notified and decide to release their loved one’s information.
Oct. 24, 2021
Former Case IH Vice President of North America Jim Walker, in an interview with Ag Equipment Intelligence, had the following to say on the John Deere strike:
“The last strike was over 30 years ago and it was an ugly one,” says Walker, who also worked at John Deere from 1978-88 and later as an exec at Claas and AGCO as well. “I think the entire UAW is looking at the Deere strike and negotiations to set the tone for future contracts with them by all manufacturers. Considering the profitability of Deere, back order of pre-sold product and intense atmosphere the production workers have been working on during COVID, I think the Deere initial offer was a bit paltry. I think much more will need to be offered to satisfy both UAW Deere as well as UAW in general.”
Oct. 24, 2021
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website stated that "John Deere will continue providing healthcare for all our UAW-represented production and maintenance employees. In addition, we will provide these employees with the Continuous Improvement Pay Plan (CIPP) incentives they earned before the strike as scheduled."
Oct. 20, 2021
A report from WQAD reported that, as of Oct. 19, UAW members began receiving ballots asking for their vote on whether or not UAW members should be able to directly elect their leadership. Ballots are reportedly due back Nov. 29.
The report stated, "Currently, the union's 400,000 working members and roughly 600,000 retirees have no say in their representation or leadership. Holders of each four-year term within the union are chosen through delegates. Consequently, a so-called 'Administration Caucus' has created a tightly-controlled political landscape within the union.
The report mentioned member frustration with UAW officials "conceding more to big companies and less to laborers," as well as a series of corruption scandals in recent years.
Oct. 20, 2021
According to a report from Reuters, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited striking union members and stated his support for the strike. The report stated, "'You work hard and you deserve a fair price and a fair deal,' Vilsack told picketers. He said he would be happy to tell Deere Chief Executive Officer John May how important it is to resolve the dispute quickly and fairly."
Oct. 20, 2021
A report from KWQC said John Deere had been granted a "temporary injunction" prohibiting striking UAW members from trespassing at the John Deere Davenport Works facility and picketing in groups larger than 4 at each gate. The report stated, "The company on Wednesday filed an 11-page petition, along with several exhibits, against the United Automobile, Aersospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local Union 281 in Scott County District Court."
According to the order, union members cannot:
- Trespass on Davenport Works property or the driveways leading to the facility from public roads.
- Obstruct the ways of ingress and egress to and from Deere & Co. premises.
- Picketing or loitering or congregating near the contractor gate entrance.
- Engaging in unlawful activities including unlawful mass picketing and or parading, verbal and physical harassment, intimidation, vandalism blocking or impeding human and vehicular traffic to and from Davenport Works.
- Threatening or harassing any non-striking employees, drivers, vendors or customers who are lawfully conducting business with Deere & Co.
- Picketing, loitering or congregating at or near any entrance to or exit from Deere & Co.’s property in numbers larger than four.
Any member from the union found violating the order could receive a fine of up to $500 or result in jail time of up to six months.
A separate report from WSWS stated, "The injunction bans the use of chairs and fire barrels, even as overnight lows in the area are set to reach freezing temperatures this weekend."
Oct. 17, 2021
A report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that the John Deere Horicon Works facility, located in Horicon, Wis., though not part of the current agreement negotiations that led to the strike, will be renewing its own contract next year. Horicon Works employees are represented by the Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 873.
The report quoted Local 873 President Darrel Shepp, who said, "Presently, we are preparing for our contract negotiations, which will take place next year. We are monitoring the situation carefully." He also noted the results of the UAW strike will affect the workers at Horicon Works in 2022.
Oct. 16, 2021
A report from KCRG found that, based on SEC filings, John Deere CEO John C. May had disposed of around $463,000 worth of Deere stock in the months leading up to the strike, with the transaction reported 2 days after the strike began. The documents reported the date of the earliest transaction covered in the filing took place on March 25, 2021. However, the report stated, "SEC rules require documentation filed within 2 business days following the transaction date, indicating the sale of the stock took place over about a six-month period. The total value of the stock is $463,400 based on the current stock price of about $331 as of Oct. 18."
The report added that Jennifer Hartmann, who is a spokesperson for John Deere, said the sale has nothing to do with any current events and is not related to the strike.
Oct. 14, 2021
Deere failed to reach an agreement with its workers and the UAW on a new labor agreement, resulting in 10,000 workers going on strike — the first time Deere employees have gone on strike in 35 years. Depending on how long the strike lasts, it could exacerbate the inventory challenges dealers are facing.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, "the striking workers make up more than one-third of Deere's 28,000 employees in the U.S. About 4,000 production workers at non-union plants or represented by other unions remain on the job, the company said. Deere has about 14,000 management and administrative employees."
One dealer noted that impact could range from insignificant to substantial, depending on how long the strike lasts and how Deere potentially uses other employees to keep things moving. Multiple dealers noted that Deere was bringing in salaried employees from other regions to help.
The strike comes in the midst of harvest throughout much of the U.S and a time that parts are in high demand. According to USDA's Oct. 10, 2021, Crop Progress Report, 41% of the U.S. corn crop has been harvested and 49% of the soybean crop has been harvested.
After 90% of union members rejected the proposed contract agreement the parties had until Oct. 13 at 11:59 p.m. to reach an agreement.
The details on the rejected agreement, posted on UAW's website, mention maintained healthcare copays, improved pensions and retirement and wage increases as summary points.
“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,” said Chuck Browning, Vice President and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department. “We stay committed to bargaining until our members' goals are achieved”
UAW President Ray Curry, said “the almost one million UAW retirees and active members stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere.”
Curry noted that, “UAW John Deere members have worked through the pandemic after the company deemed them essential, to produce the equipment that feeds America, builds America and powers the American economy. These essential UAW workers are showing us all that through the power of a strong united union voice on the picket line they can make a difference for working families here and throughout the country.”
Over 10,000 members at John Deere locations set up pickets. ”Pickets have been set up and our members are organized and ready to hold out and fight for a contract they believe meets their needs,” said Ron McInroy, director of UAW Region 4. “Our members and their families appreciate the community support they have already gotten. Strikes are not easy, but some things are worth fighting for.”
“These are skilled, tedious jobs that UAW members take pride in every day,” said Mitchell Smith, UAW Region 8 director. “Strikes are never easy on workers or their families but John Deere workers believe they deserve a better share of the pie, a safer workplace, and adequate benefits.”
The rejected agreement would have provided an immediate 5-6% raise for most workers, according to UAW vice president Chuck Browning. Workers said the pay raises were inadequate given that John Deere is expected to make nearly $6 billion in profits this year, according to a report by The Hill. Union members also disapproved of how the pay hikes would be offset by pension cuts for new hires.
There are 14 facilities impacted by the strike. In Iowa that includes Davenport Works, Des Moines Works, Dubuque Works, Ottumwa Works and Waterloo Works, including Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works and the Foundry. In Illinois, the facilities are Harvester Works in East Moline, North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline. In Kansas, there is one facility, Coffeyville Works. In Colorado, a parts distribution location and Georgia the compact utility and utility tractor factory.
One dealer noted that for 12 of their locations, they currently have 2,800 line items on back order from Deere. Those parts are all serviced from the Milan distribution center. Some of those orders go back a few months, and with the strike he now fears increased back orders and delayed deliveries.
One Case IH dealer, when asked about likelihood of more color conversions as a result of this news, replied. " While it may be a short term positive for Deere’s competition, it will hurt all of us in the long haul if unions win." He added that while he didn't know the specifics of John Deere's offer, he's sure they won't want to miss out too much of the current strong market.
"John Deere is committed to a favorable outcome for our employees, our communities, and everyone involved," said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Company. "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."
Deere & Company does not currently have an estimate of when employees affected by the strike will resume activities or the timing for completion of negotiations with the UAW.
In the coming years, other manufacturers have labor contracts up for renewal. According to Brian Rothenberg, UAW director of public relations, Caterpillar’s contract is up for renegotiation in 2023 and both Case IH and New Holland’s labor contracts expire in 2022.
Oct. 13, 2021
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website stated, "John Deere added many things to its already best-in-industry wages and benefits under the tentative agreement. One is the entirely new money paid in a lump sum to you upon retirement in the form of a bonus and new cash balance pension benefit. For the typical John Deere employee, this amounts to nearly $134,000."
Oct. 12, 2021
John Deere States the Company 'Made the Best Wages in the Industry Even Better' with Tentative Agreement
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website stated "Under the tentative agreement, John Deere made the best wages in the agriculture and construction industries even better. How? By increasing wages and adding things like a cost of living adjustment and lump sum payments, your annual earnings are projected to grow significantly today and over the life of the agreement."
Oct. 11, 2021
Announcements posted on Deere's One Deere production and maintenance employee website stated that, "There have been a lot of questions about the healthcare coverage in the Tentative Agreement. Simply put – you have no deductibles and no premiums – and your co-pays stay exactly the same. These are industry-leading healthcare benefits you'll enjoy while the value of your healthcare is increasing from approximately $12 for every hour you work today, to approximately $17 for every hour worked at the end of the contract that John Deere will cover."
Images taken from the One Deere website show Deere's comparisons to its competitors in healthcare costs and coverage.
Oct. 11, 2021
A press release from United Auto Workers states 90% of its John Deere members rejected a tentative agreement the union's national bargaining team had reached on Oct. 1. UAW's press release also stated, "The UAW negotiating team will report immediately to Moline on Monday. A strike deadline has been set for 11:59 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 13." The details on the rejected agreement, posted on UAW's website, mention maintained healthcare copays, improved pensions and retirement and wage increases as summary points. It was not immediately clear what aspects of the agreement motivated the rejection by union members.
Oct. 1, 2021
UAW President Ray Curry announced that the elected national bargaining team at John Deere has reached a tentative agreement. The UAW stated it will not release details of the Tentative Agreement until members at all John Deere locations have an opportunity to meet and review the terms of their proposed contract on Oct. 10. A press release earlier that same day from United Auto Workers stated the union and John Deere had agreed to "extend the current collective bargaining agreement" as negotiations for a new contract continue.
Sept. 14, 2021
A report from the Quad City Times stated Deere employees represented by United Auto Workers Local 865 had passed a strike authorization on Sept. 12 as part of ongoing contract negotiations with Deere. The vote does not call a strike but instead gives the union the ability to call a strike on the workers' behalf should they feel it necessary.
Aug. 17, 2021
John Deere and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) start negotiations on a new labor agreement. The then-current six-year master agreement covers approximately 10,100 production and maintenance employees at 12 Deere facilities and expires on Oct.1. In Iowa, the facilities are Davenport Works, Des Moines Works, Dubuque Works, Ottumwa Works, and Waterloo Works, including Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works, and the Foundry. In Illinois, the facilities are Harvester Works in East Moline, North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan, and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline. In Kansas, there is one facility, Coffeyville Works. A separate agreement also is being negotiated to cover nearly 100 production and maintenance employees at Deere parts facilities in Denver and Atlanta.