Deadline for Workers’ Strike Approaches

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A possible strike looms as the deadline for John Deere and its union employees to strike a deal draws nearer.

Wednesday marks the final day union employees at John Deere in Ottumwa and throughout Iowa could work with a strike on the horizon. On Sunday, the United Auto Workers Union Local 74 reported nearly 87 percent of its members (67 in favor, 444 against) rejected a six-year contract proposal from the company. A healthy majority of workers in other plants voted down the proposed contract as well.

The previous six-year contract ended on October 1st but the two sides agreed on an extension. However, union workers have set the hard date of Wednesday night at 11:59 as the end of the negotiating period. If an agreement cannot be reached, the union workers say they will go on strike.

The contract talks affect nearly 10,000 John Deere employees in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. The last time John Deere employees went on strike was in 1986 during the Farm crisis. Workers sat for 163 days.

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