10 thousand employees of the world’s largest agricultural machinery manufacturer, John Deere, began a strike at 14 plants in the USA on Thursday. This is the largest strike action in the US private sector since 2019. The strike, however, may only be the beginning of a wave of similar protests.
The strike started at midnight on Thursday and is a result of the rejection by members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union of the new 6-year contract negotiated by the board.
The biggest strike in two years
It assumed, inter alia, initial increases of 5-6% and up to 20 percent in six consecutive years. 90 percent Unionists, however, voted against the terms, arguing that they did not reflect the company’s bottom line, which recorded a net profit of nearly $ 5 billion this year, up 84 percent. higher than in 2019. According to the CNN station, the average salary of a production line employee is approx. dollars a year.
The strike at John Deere is the largest action of its kind since the six-week protest of employees of the automotive concern General Motors in 2019. At that time, members of the UAW, which is one of the largest trade unions in the USA, also went on strike.
Is a wave of protests brewing?
However, this may only be the beginning of a wave of workers’ protests. Soon, more than 24,000 people may join the trade unionists from tractor factories. California and Oregon medical workers whose union has yet to reach an agreement with the Kaiser Permanente hospital network.
In addition, a strike of the IATSE film and television industry union, uniting over 60,000 people, is planned for Monday. people. Already last week, workers at the Kellog’s breakfast cereal plant began their protest, and earlier Alabama miners and workers at Nabisco’s biscuit and snack factories also went on strike.
The actions of trade unionists are the result of, inter alia, rapid changes in the labor market caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s response to it. From spring this year. Millions of workers have left their jobs, and many employers, especially in low-paid sectors of the economy, complain about the lack of labor. As a result, the bargaining power of employees increased.
Main photo source: Shutterstock