• More than 10,000 John Deere workers at 14 different sites went on strike Thursday.
  • Members of the United Auto Workers union are unhappy with the failure of contract negotiations with the company.
  • The company said it did not know when the employees would return to work.

More than 10,000 John Deere workers at 14 different sites went on strike Thursday after contract negotiations with the company failed, the United Auto Workers union said.

Union members went on strike immediately at midnight to demand better pensions and better working environments.

“Our John Deere members are on strike so they can earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish a level playing field,” said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the union’s agricultural tools department, in a statement. communicated.

“We remain committed to negotiating until our members’ goals are met,” he added.

Jen Hartmann, public relations manager at John Deere, said in an email to Insider that the company will try to strike a deal with the union and make them “the highest paid workers in the agriculture industries. and construction “.

Union president Ray Curry said members went through the COVID-19 pandemic after the company deemed them essential workers.

“Strikes are never easy for workers or their families, but John Deere workers believe they deserve a better slice of the pie, a safer workplace and adequate benefits,” said Mitchell Smith, director regional union, in a statement.

Brian Rothenberg, public relations manager at United Auto Workers, said in an email to Insider that the situation is “fluid” and union members are setting up picket lines.

John deere noted that the company strives to understand the grievances of its employees and resolve the strike, as well as to continue operations as planned.

“Our immediate concern is to meet the needs of our customers, who work in critical and urgent sectors such as agriculture and construction,” said Hartmann.

The company said he does not know when employees would return to work, or when contract negotiations might be concluded.

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