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Grovetown plant plows ahead as Deere workers strike elsewhere

FILE- In this Aug. 31, 2015, file photo, John Deere equipment is on display at the Farm...
FILE- In this Aug. 31, 2015, file photo, John Deere equipment is on display at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:59 AM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Although more than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday, it’s not affecting the company’s Grovetown plant, according to the company.

At several other Deere facilities, the United Auto Workers went on strike because “the company failed to present an agreement that met our members’ demands and needs,” the union said in statement.

Although the union said the strike affects all hourly Deere employees who are UAW members, nothing has changed at the Grovetown plant, according to the company.

The six-year master agreement that’s in dispute covers about 10,000 production and maintenance employees at several Deere facilities in Iowa, a handful in Illinois and one in Kansas. The company was working to negotiate a separate agreement to cover nearly 100 production and maintenance employees at Deere parts facilities in Denver and Atlanta.

“The strike does not include employees at the Grovetown facility,” the company said in a statement to News 12.

The union had said its members would walk off the job if no deal has been reached by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The vast majority of the union rejected a contract offer earlier this week that would have delivered 5% raises to some workers and 6% raises to others.

“The almost one million UAW retirees and active members stand in solidarity with the striking UAW members at John Deere,” UAW President Ray Curry said.

However, the strike hadn’t drawn any local sympathy picketers at the Grovetown plant around 8 a.m. Thursday, where everything appeared normal.

Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere, said the company wants an agreement that would improve the economic position of all employees.

“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,” Morris said.

Thirty-five years have passed since the last major Deere strike.

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