An agreement that covers over 10,000 John Deere employees–including those in Ottumwa–will be voted on this weekend.
Leaders of the United Auto Workers Union have said the six-year pact contains significant economic gains and “provide highest quality healthcare benefits in the industry.” According to Radio Iowa, the new deal would have the minimum starting wage at $19.00 an hour which could climb to as high as $30.00 an hour depending on experience.
The vote is scheduled for Sunday, October 10th.
If the contract is agreed upon, a six-week period of negotiations would come to an end. The previous six-year contract between John Deere and its employees expired on October 1st, but an extension of the contract was reached, avoiding a strike.
The last time John Deere workers went on strike was in 1986. Employees refused to work for 163 days that year during the upheaval of the Farm Crisis.
The contract would cover John Deere workers in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.