As of Oct. 13, 2021 at midnight, John 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 30 years. Depending on how long the strike lasts, it could exacerbate the inventory challenges dealers are facing.
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.
What follows is a chronological list of news and announcements concerning the strike. If you know of any information that should be included, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.