More than 10,000 John Deere workers go on strike after failing to reach a contract

Douglas Johnson looks at John Deere equipment on display

In this Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 photo, Douglas Johnson from Perry, Iowa, looks at John Deere equipment on display at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

More than 10,000 workers at 14 different John Deere locations went on strike at the stroke of midnight after the United Auto Workers union said it was unable to reach a new contract with the tractor company.

“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,” Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department, said in a statement.

John Deere, known for its signature green and yellow farm equipment, said it was committed to a “favorable” outcome for everyone involved — including workers.

“We are determined to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries,” Brad Morris, vice president of labor relations for Deere & Company, said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

The company did not have an estimate for when workers would return to the job or say how the strike would affect its operations.

The strike at John Deere comes shortly after roughly 60,000 film and TV workers with the union International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees voted to authorize a strike against studios to improve their schedules, pay and working conditions.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal