John Deere Deal

John Deere Deal

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), vote today on a tentative deal reached between union leaders and the John Deere Company.

More than 10,000 John Deere workers went on strike at 14 plants across the US, including Grovetown, near Augusta.

A vote to accept the new offer could be good news for many farmers throughout the Southeast.

Union member Chris Larson told Des Moines’ WOI TV they want wage hikes, retirement health benefits, and better pensions for new hires.

Union worker: “We voted on the last tentative agreement on October 4th. 9 out of 10 voting members shot it down. That sent a very clear message not only to Deere but to our own negotiating team that we want something substantial.”

Under the deal, employees represented by UAW would see a wage increase of 10 percent in the first year with wages increases of 5 percent in the third and fifth years. Employees would see lump sum increases of 3 percent in the second, fourth, and sixth years.

The employees would also be given $8,500 in a ratification bonus, and the cost of their health insurance would be locked in to prevent increases.

The Georiga Farm Bureau says farmers who saw crop losses after a cold snap last spring have reported struggling to find parts for tractors and planters during the fall harvest. The sale of some tractors is on hold during the strike.

Georgia farmers have reported a reduction in apple harvesting because of the freeze last spring.

This month farmers are busy harvesting pecans, one of Georgia’s top commodities. The Georgia Department of Economic Development says the state also tops the country in peanut production. Harvest is also underway on that crop.

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