Thousands Of John Deere Employees Reject New Contract Offer, Go On Strike

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Taylor Giles Contributor
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Over 10,000 John Deere employees went on strike Thursday after rejecting a contract offer earlier in the week, according to ABC News.

John Deere “failed to present an agreement that met our members’ demands and needs,” the United Auto Workers union said about the proposed contracts, reported ABC News. The contract offer covers 14 John Deere plants all over the U.S.

The proposed contract would have provided for 5% raises for some employees and 6% raises for other employees.

“The whole nation’s going to be watching us,” said Chris Laursen, a painter at John Deere, reported ABC News. “If we take a stand here for ourselves, our families, for basic human prosperity, it’s going to make a difference for the whole manufacturing industry. Let’s do it. Let’s not be intimidated.”

Employees said they felt empowered to go on strike after working long hours to combat worker shortages. (RELATED: Analysts: Russian Sanction Bill Could Punish Companies Like John Deere And Boeing)

“We will keep working day and night to understand our employees’ priorities and resolve this strike, while also keeping our operations running for the benefit of all those we serve,” said John Deere Vice President of Labor Relations Brad Morris, ABC News reported.

More than 100,000 workers in industries across the U.S. are also threatening to go on strike for higher pay and improved working conditions, according to The Hill. Union leaders blame the increase in income inequality during the pandemic for the increase in labor strikes.

“This is the capitalist system that has driven us to the brink,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said, reported The Hill. “Inequality is just getting worse and worse. … We think unions are the solution.”