Visitors check out a John Deere tractor on display at the Iowa State Fair. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A union representing John Deere employees reached another tentative deal Saturday to potentially end a strike a little over two weeks after workers rejected their initial agreement.
Over 10,000 unionized John Deere workers went on strike Oct. 14 over a lack of sufficient wages and pension, and the strike will continue throughout the ratification process, according to the statement on the new tentative deal by the United Automobile Workers.
UAW Vice President and Director of the Agricultural Implement Department Chuck Browning said the new agreement includes "enhanced economic gains" and the "highest quality healthcare benefits in the industry."
UAW President Ray Curry said in the statement that the negotiating team went back and received input from union members before coming up with the new agreement.
"We want to thank the UAW bargaining team and striking UAW members and their families for the sacrifices they have made to achieve these gains," Curry said. "Our members have enjoyed the support of our communities and the entire labor movement nationwide as they have stood together in support and solidarity these past few weeks."
Union negotiators said the first tentative deal provided "significant economic gains" and "the highest quality healthcare benefits in the industry," but workers said it failed to sufficiently increase wages and to provide a traditional pension to new employees, according to The New York Times. Workers also said the first deal failed to substantially improve an incentive program they consider overly strict.
The UAW will not release details of the new tentative agreement until all union members have an opportunity to review the terms of the proposed contract.
Workers at the agriculture equipment maker's 14 plants, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois and one each in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia, have been part of the strike.