Striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) picket astatine the Deere & Co. workplace instrumentality works earlier a sojourn by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack successful Ankeny, Iowa, connected Oct. 20, 2021. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)
ANKENY, Iowa—U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited striking national members extracurricular a Deere & Co. workplace instrumentality works successful Iowa connected Wednesday, telling workers helium supports them and the state needs them.
Deere employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) are joining thousands of different U.S. workers who person gone connected strike successful caller months, demanding higher wage and amended moving conditions.
Emboldened by a choky jobs marketplace and an medication they see sypathetic to unions, workers accidental the strikes are fueled successful portion by vexation implicit cuts to healthcare and status benefits astatine a clip erstwhile their employers are reporting record-breaking returns.
“You enactment hard and you merit a just terms and a just deal,” Vilsack told picketers. He said helium would beryllium blessed to archer Deere Chief Executive Officer John May however important it is to resoluteness the quality rapidly and fairly.
The institution successful August raised its full-year net forecast amid beardown demand.
Deere officials person repeatedly said they privation to resoluteness the onslaught and support their employees’ presumption arsenic the champion paid successful the industry.
The onslaught astatine Deere, the largest U.S. workplace instrumentality maker, began connected Oct. 14 aft 90 percent of hourly workers rejected the company’s declaration offer. Now, astir 10,000 employees crossed 14 U.S. locations are connected strike.
The onslaught is taking spot successful the mediate of the U.S. maize and soybean harvest arsenic farmers are struggling to find parts for tractors and combines.
“We attraction for the farmers,” said Keith Chada, a committeeman for the UAW, who was astatine the Ankeny plant.
As Vilsack pulled up successful a SUV, protesters extracurricular the works waved bluish and achromatic signs declaring “UAW connected strike.” Drivers honked their horns successful enactment arsenic they drove past.
Vilsack shook hands and wished protesters luck. At 1 point, helium pulled retired an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees beingness honorary rank paper from his pocket.
The sojourn echoed Vilsack’s governmental past successful 1998, erstwhile the then-Iowa authorities legislator was lagging successful Iowa’s gubernatorial race.
“The UAW was with maine from the get go,” Vilsack said. “You don’t hide the radical that were with you.”