The details of the tentative agreement come more than two weeks after some 10,000 John Deere employees went on strike for the first time since 1986, having rejected a prior tentative agreement that called for a 5% to 6% wage increase for the first year. Shares of Deere rose each of the last two weeks, indicating shareholders continued to expect a speedy resolution to the labor strike.
There are no new tiers, with everyone hired after 1997 having the same retirement options. Deere will also contribute 5% of employees’ annual wages to their 401(k), immediately eligible, the document said.
The post-retirement health care fund includes cash balance savings at 2.5% for the first through fourth years, 3% in years five through 14, and 4% for 15 years and above, and it includes $2,000 of seed money per year of service. There were no changes to the cost of health insurance, with employees paying no premiums or deductibles, and still having co-pays.
Events surrounding the negotiation have been intense at times. Senator Bernie Sanders, a vocal proponent of labor unions, tweeted shortly after the strike started that “workers who spent years with the company are now being forced off their insurance.”
The company later issued a statement that it will continue providing health care for all striking union-represented production and maintenance employees.
The union reported earlier in the week that a 56-year-old employee at the Milan John Deere Parts Distribution Plant in Moline, Illinois, was fatally struck in a traffic accident while walking the picket line. Deere also won its bid for a temporary restraining order blocking thousands of union members from picketing at a plant in Davenport, Iowa, with a state trial judge saying workers’ conduct was unwarranted.
via Crain’s Chicago Business
October 31, 2021 at 01:46PM