DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL)- Just over two weeks into the United Auto Workers Union strike against John Deere, the two parties have revealed a tentative contract that significantly increases benefits over the last one.
If signed the new deal will give 10% raises after the first year following the deal. All workers will then go on to receive another 5% raise in the third and fifth year following the deal. In the previous deal this was only a 5-6% raise with 2% raises following over consecutive years.
Deere is also offering an 8500$ ratification bonus along with 3% lump sum bonuses workers would receive every other year following the second year after the deal.
One of the most noteworthy shifts from the previous deal is Deere will now extend coverage of their pension plan to all new workers in the future. The previous deal had employees in a tier system which would restrict new employees from having a pension.
KWWL spoke with Paul Iverson, a professor of labor at the University of Iowa on why this was so important to Deere workers. “When you cynically say well who is going to strike over people who haven’t even been hired yet,” he said. “Well to Deere workers, that’s their family.”
He went on to explain that because Deere has a workforce filled with generations of the same families many union members feel this strike is ensuring better benefits for their descendants.
The UAW strike began October 14 following an almost unanimous vote against the previous contract. The new contract is set to be voted on at the UAW union meeting November 2nd. UAW members will continue to strike until a new contract is signed.