UAW reaches tentative contract agreement with Deere - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UAW reaches tentative contract agreement with Deere

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

STATEMENT FROM DEERE:

Deere & Company announced the company has reached a tentative agreement with the UAW to replace the six-year master labor contract that expired September 30th at midnight. 

The tentative agreement is for six years and will now be presented to members for a ratification vote. Other terms of the agreement will not be made public.

The UAW represents approximately 10,000 Deere manufacturing employees at 12 factories in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. The master agreement covers manufacturing employees at John Deere facilities in Davenport, Ankeny, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo, Iowa; East Moline, Moline and Milan, Illinois; and Coffeyville, Kansas. 

Beyond these statements, Deere spokesman Ken Golden said the company plans to honor its agreement with the UAW to make no further public comment on the negotiations.

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The McLeod Center in Cedar Falls has been reserved by the UAW on Sunday for a possible vote by members.

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UPDATE: The UAW has reached a tentative agreement with John Deere. 

According to the Mike Avenarius, Vice President of Local 94 in Dubuque, a new contract has been determined and employees should return to work as scheduled Thursday.

Avenarius says this affects all UAW employees both in Waterloo and Dubuque.

No details of the contract have been given.

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After a six year contract between the Local 838 and John Deere, it is down to the wire.

A conclusion at midnight determines the fate of the union workers at 12 Deere plants.

"We care about our membership greatly," said 838 First Vice President Mike Oberhauser. "There's a lot of concerns, everybody filled out their surveys, everyone filled out concerns with the negotiating team and they took them down to Moline."

Deere has not had the year they've hoped for.

Experts say because of low grain prices, farmers have been cutting back on buying large farm equipment -- the lifeblood of Deere.

"A lot of farmers are finding themselves cash constrained, they're more willing to let their equipment age because it's relatively new," said labor economist Peter Orazem.

That doesn't bode well for Deere, but a new deal with union workers must be made.

Of the current negotiations, there are three potential outcomes.

The first outcome would be a reached agreement, which would mean a completely new contract.

The second outcome would be an extension to the current contract, which they would then revisit the terms in the near future.

Or, the most dramatic outcome, no agreement and a strike.

Experts say a strike is not likely to happen.

"My guess is that either side is not particularly eager to have a strike," said Orazem.

On the UAW side, the VP says they're going to remain hopeful their concerns are met.

KWWL will bring you updates as they become available.

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