Deere employees reject contract offer, will stay on strike

Most workers at Deere & Co. have rejected a contract offer that would have given them 10% raises. Tuesday’s vote means workers will remain on strike in the hopes of securing a better deal.

The raises in the latest agreement were twice as big as the ones in the original offer United Auto Workers union members rejected last month, but those raises and improved benefits weren’t enough to end the strike that began on Oct. 14.

The new agreement also would have preserved a pension option for new employees and maintained workers’ no-premium health insurance coverage.

The disputed contract covers more than 10,000 Deere workers at 12 of Deere’s facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. A separate group of about 100 workers in Colorado and Georgia voted to accept an identical contract.