Jonah Furman

A month into the nation’s largest work stoppage, striking John Deere workers are holding out for a better deal.

For the second time in a month, 10,000 Auto Workers at John Deere stunned both the company and the union leadership November 2 by rejecting a tentative agreement. Workers at the farm equipment manufacturer remain on strike. Company and union negotiators are set to meet today for the first time since the deal was voted down.

The vote was closer than on the first tentative agreement, which was rejected by 90 percent of members. This time, 55 percent voted no.

Ten thousand John Deere workers in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas launched an open-ended strike October 14.

The strike came after workers overwhelmingly voted down a first tentative agreement negotiated by the Auto Workers (UAW). Among the over 90 percent of members voting, 90 percent voted no.

At midnight on September 30, the national agreement expired between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Healthcare Unions: 21 locals representing 52,000 workers. Now 35,000 of them have authorized strikes.

The heart of the conflict is a two-tier wage proposal, a rarity in health care. The company wants to create regional wage scales for everyone hired after 2022—meaning a giant cut in pay.

Kaiser isn’t hurting financially; last year it netted $6.4 billion, and it even returned $500 million in CARES Act funding to the federal government.

Countdown to a Strike Tonight at John Deere

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At 11:59 p.m. tonight, barring a last-minute deal, nearly 10,000 Auto Workers members at John Deere in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas will go on strike. The last Deere strike began in 1986 and lasted for five months.

In the lead-up to tonight’s strike, tensions are high. The negotiating team is still bargaining up till the deadline. Management is trying to intimidate workers out of striking and is preparing to fill the gaps with non-union salaried employees.

Ten thousand Auto Workers (UAW) members at John Deere will vote on a new contract on Sunday, October 10. Unexpectedly, they can see the language of proposed changes to their several-hundred-page contract ahead of the vote. The UAW International posted the language online last night, along with a contract summary and proposed amendments to the pension plan.

‘We’re Sick of Giving Away Our Future’: An Interview with Kellogg Strike Leaders

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Just after midnight October 5, workers at all four of Kellogg’s “ready-to-eat cereal” plants went on strike. Bakery Workers (BCTGM) Local 3G represents the 395 workers at the flagship plant in Battle Creek, Michigan. Labor Notes spoke with Local 3G President Trevor Bidelman and Vice President Paul Walling. Both men have been at the plant since the mid-2000s, and are still working members. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Labor Notes: Why are you on strike?

Two Thousand California CWA Members Strike Telecoms Corp Frontier Communications

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Two thousand workers at the telecom provider Frontier in California walked off the job yesterday on an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike. Technicians, call center employees, dispatchers, clerks, mechanics, and construction workers across seven Communications Workers (CWA) locals got the call around 10:30 a.m. to stop work and report to the picket line.

From Contract Rejection to Union Office: School Therapists Keep Up Push for Fair Deal

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A group of New York City educators who bucked the union’s ruling caucus to vote down their contract three years ago has now won elected office.

This puts them in the leadership of their small chapter within the United Federation of Teachers—and gives them seats on the union’s bargaining team for 2022.

The seeds of their campaign were sown in 2018, when for the first time in over 20 years, a UFT contract was voted down.

United Auto Workers members will soon vote in an unprecedented referendum to decide whether the union’s 400,000 working members and nearly 600,000 retirees will directly elect their top officers. Ballots hit the mail October 19 and are due back November 29.

The UAW’s executive officers are currently elected to four-year terms by delegates at its convention. An “Administration Caucus” has dominated these positions for the past seven decades, using the powers of appointment available to International officers to wield tight political control.

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