The effects of the Deere strike? Dealers are mom

The ongoing strike by more than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers was expected to slow the flow of spare parts to farmers busy harvesting their fields, but the true effects so far are unclear.

“We should not tell reporters about this,” said a woman who answered the phone at a John Deere dealership in southern Iowa.

Dealer employees statewide either responded to questions similarly or simply did not return phone messages asking for comment on this article.

One exception was Tom Kuennen, Store Manager of Bodensteiner Implement Company at Decorah, who said: “Actually, things are going pretty well. But he said he wasn’t really sure about potential supply shortages because he didn’t work in the parts department, and all the employees in that department were too busy to speak to reporters.

Deere employees who are members of the United Auto Workers union have been on strike for nine days. They overwhelmingly rejected a new contractual agreement on October 10 and negotiations resumed on Monday.

A Deere spokeswoman did not answer questions about the negotiations and whether the company has advised its dealers to avoid speaking with the media. Instead, the company said it would maintain health care coverage for strikers and pay bonuses to workers who exceeded their quotas before the strike, what the company calls its compensation plan incentives. continuous improvement.

The manager of a Deere dealership in Carroll says Iowa Capital Dispatch last week that some parts have been in short supply for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. He did not respond to a recent request to comment on this article.

Some Iowa Farmers have serious concerns on potential parts shortages due to the strike, but Jeff Frank, who grows corn and soybeans near Auburn in western Iowa, said many farmers were preparing for the harvest by acquiring parts in advance.

“They told us before that to have the things you need on hand,” said Frank, who has already harvested his crops. “I don’t think this is a really serious problem. Some guys have to go a long way to get coins, but it was before the strike. “

As of Monday, about 70% of the state’s soybean crop and 43% of the corn crop had been harvested, about a week ahead of the five-year average, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Deere seeks to limit picket sites

Deere sought injunctions this week to limit picket lines at its Davenport and Ankeny facilities and alleged strikers attempted to block traffic and workers from entering the facilities. A judge ordered Davenport picketers to move away from aisles and a gate that allows workers to enter the facility without crossing a picket line, among other requirements.

The UAW’s latest public statement on Wednesday said: “The bargaining committee continues to address the concerns of its members with the company. We would like to thank our communities and members for their continued support.

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