John Deere reaches tentative labor agreement to end strike

Employees at John Deere factory in Leesburg ratified a tentative labor agreement Saturday evening, ending a strike that started the morning of Sept. 12. The agreement, the union said, allows new hires to unionize…

John Deere reaches tentative labor agreement to end strike

Employees at John Deere factory in Leesburg ratified a tentative labor agreement Saturday evening, ending a strike that started the morning of Sept. 12.

The agreement, the union said, allows new hires to unionize and covers issues including pension preservation and health care contributions.

The strike — one of the longest in the company’s recent history — began when roughly 1,350 workers rejected a contract proposed by the United Auto Workers union on Thursday, the fifth day of the work stoppage.

A one-tenth of a percent pay raise has been a top demand for the workers since the negotiations began July 18.

Company spokesman Nathan Hund said Saturday evening that John Deere has reached a five-year agreement with employees. In addition to paying a one-tenth of a percent raise for all employees — 1,350 members in Leesburg — workers at the plant on Dividing Lake Road near the Virginia-Maryland line will see total compensation increase to $75,000 a year, up from $73,000 per year. The hourly rate to start is $24.15 an hour.

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