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Most Deere workers reject contract offer

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Union workers at Deere & Co. voted down the company's latest contract offer Sunday night.

According to a release from Deere & Co., the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America informed Deere & Co. that "its production and maintenance employees have voted to reject the tentative collective bargaining agreements that would have covered more than 10,000 workers at 14 facilities across the United States."

Deere and UAW had reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year contract on Oct. 1.

For ratification, the agreement required 51% approval.

Facilities impacted by the contract are Davenport Works, Des Moines Works, Dubuque Works, Ottumwa Works, and Waterloo Works in Iowa, including Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works, and the Foundry. In Illinois, Harvester Works in East Moline, North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline are subject to the agreement.

According to a Facebook post from UAW 281, which represents Davenport, 86% of workers rejected the company's offer.

Also, UAW 281 said the bargaining committee has been recalled Monday morning, and set a hard strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

The current contract expired on Oct. 1, but a 14-day contract extension was approved overnight, allowing operations to continue as scheduled as negotiations went on.

“John Deere remains fully committed to continuing the collective bargaining process in an effort to better understand our employees’ viewpoints," said Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Co. in a news release. "In the meantime, our operations will continue as normal.”

The union previously approved a strike authorization, and Local 281 reminded its members on Sept. 30 that a strike-duty roster was in circulation.

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