116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The UAW on Tuesday handily voted down the latest offer from Deere & Co., the second proposal offering higher wages and perks aimed at resolving a strike.
The union vote appeared close to 55 percent opposed and 45 percent supporting the deal.
The proposed agreement offered improved wages and benefits from the initial agreement, which was overwhelmingly voted down Oct. 10. The six-year contract would’ve covered about 10,100 production and maintenance employees at 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.
The strike will continue without the ratification of an agreement. It's a setback for the union and the company, as representatives for both have been meeting in negotiations since before the strike.
On Tuesday as workers cast ballots on the proposal, Local 281 union members from Davenport Works gathered outside the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, clad in UAW sweatshirts. "I'll be back out on the line on Saturday," one worker said outside of the polls, "or maybe I'll be back at work tomorrow."
Deere & Co. and the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America reached this latest would — be six-year deal Saturday. Ratification voting is unique to each local, but took place in-person Tuesday. Strike duties were suspended during voting, but resumed in the afternoon.
Here is what workers were voting on Tuesday:
•According to a contract summary, workers would receive an immediate 10 percent increase in wages in the first year and an additional 5 percent in the third and fifth years. But some of that increase is tied to inflation through cost of living adjustments, which have the potential to change.
•The proposed COLA would adjust every three months with inflation. The first adjustment would be effective in December.
•On the off years, the second, fourth, and six years, workers would get 3 percent lump sum payments. Upon ratification of the contract, workers would have received a $8,500 bonus.
•There would be no changes in the cost of health insurance under the new agreement. Workers would pay $0 in premiums, have no deductibles or coinsurance, and no changes in copays.
•Union members would receive two weeks of fully-paid parental leave. The insurance would also cover autism care and vision costs, including exams, frames, and lenses.
•New hires would receive health care coverage after 30 days of employment on the first of the following month.
•Current and future union workers would choose between the traditional-plus and choice-plus retirement plans.
•The traditional-plus plan allows employees to have a defined benefits pension, an increased multiplier for monthly pension for each year of service and would fully own their pension after three years of service. The traditional-plus plan’s post-retirement health care fund offers cash balance savings. There also would be $2,000 of seed money per year of service.
•The choice-plus plan includes a dollar for dollar 401(k) match up to 6 percent for 2022, then $0.70-$1 match for each year after. The specific match amount would be determined based on company profits. The company also will contribute 5 percent of employees’ annual wages to their 401(k).
•The retirement bonus for both plans would total $37,500 for 10-24 years of service and $50,000 for 25 years or more.
Supplemental worker program:
•Before the strike, union members worried about conditions for supplemental employees, full-time workers who pay dues, but receive fewer benefits than full UAW members. There is no change to that in the new offer.