LATEST: Deere & Company and the UAW have agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement through Oct. 15, according to a news release from Deere.
The release states, "John Deere and the UAW are actively negotiating in good faith to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
"In the meantime, John Deere, the UAW, and our employees remain committed to the continued and uninterrupted support of the customers, communities, and all those we proudly serve.
"All unit operations will continue as scheduled."
Earlier report: The UAW and John Deere have agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement as the parties continue to make progress toward reaching a tentative agreement.
Any updates or changes to the status of the negotiations will be communicated through local unions, according to https://uaw.org.
Also, a Facebook post on the UAW Local 281 page reads: "We’ve been notified by the bargaining team we are on an extension. Good progress has been made but they are still talking. Report to work tomorrow."
Earlier report: The current contract between the United Auto Workers Local 865 union and Deere & Co. expires at midnight Thursday.
Negotiations for a new agreement are still ongoing as of 4 p.m., according to Brian Rothenberg, senior communications advisor.
Negotiations could go on up until midnight, Rothenberg said, and the outcome of the negotiation will be shared with the public later Thursday or early Friday morning. After the contract expires, the union has three potential options moving forward: reaching a tentative agreement, extending the contract while further negotiations take place, or proceeding with a strike.
A tentative agreement would mean that the union negotiated terms of employment they think will satisfy members. Union members would vote on the terms of the agreement after they have received a copy. Getting a copy of the agreement to 10,100 production and maintenance employees across 12 Deere facilities can take time, according to Rothenberg, which determines when the vote can take place.
It is a possibility that the contract could be rolled out around Oct. 10. If a tentative agreement is reached Thursday, most details will not be shared with the public until after all members see it and it is ratified through vote. The agreement must have a 51% majority to be ratified.
Rothenberg said the voting process is why workers like being a union member because “you have a say in your employment.”
If the union wants more time to negotiate the agreement, they can extend the current contract for a temporary amount of time so employees continue to work. The union also has an option to go on strike after the contract expires. Union members have already passed a strike authorization, meaning they are willing to strike if asked.
Rothenberg said all three options are still a possibility.
The facilities impacted by the contract are located in Iowa are Davenport Works, Des Moines Works, Dubuque Works, Ottumwa Works, and Waterloo Works, including Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works, and the Foundry. In Illinois, Harvester Works in East Moline, North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline fall under the agreement.