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Monday, October 18, 2021  
 
 
 
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John Deere Strike Worries     10/18 06:45

   

   WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) -- Farmers and Deere & Co. suppliers are worried about 
what the strike at the tractor maker's factories will mean for their 
livelihoods.

   More than 10,000 Deere employees went on strike last week at 14 Deere 
factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia after the United Auto 
Workers union rejected a contract offer. The longer the strike continues, the 
greater the impact will be on the communities around the plants.

   "If this gets sorted out in a couple of days, great," Brian Jones, who farms 
in central Iowa, told the Des Moines Register. "But if it drags out for weeks, 
you start to get a little concerned about things."

   Lance Lillibridge, who farms in eastern Iowa near Cedar Rapids, said he 
worries about not having parts should his John Deere combine break down.

   "We have a lot of big equipment out here that we're using to bring in a 
harvest, and if a part breaks down that we can't get, we're done," said 
Lillibridge, who is also president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association board.

   Burk "Skeet" Miehe of American Pattern & CNC Works in Cedar Falls, Iowa, 
said his business was doing OK initially because it worked ahead to meet orders 
from Deere.

   "If it does go longer, it could affect us," Miehe told the Waterloo-Cedar 
Falls Courier.

   Casting Cleaning Inc. in Cedar Falls, which does chipping and grinding work 
of foundry castings for John Deere, was closed Friday because of lack of work, 
but company President Shannon Closson said it's expected to reopen Monday.

   "Long term, (the strike) would be very detrimental to our business. Short 
term, we'll be able to power though and get through it," Closson said.

   At John Deere equipment dealer Sloan Implement in Fulton, Illinois, store 
manager Eric Maloney said the business is doing the best it can to manage 
through the strike, as well as supply chain problems related to the coronavirus 
pandemic. The dealer has been relying more than usual on repairing parts 
instead of replacing them.

   "We're going to just keep right on forging ahead as best we can," Maloney 
said.

 
 
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