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.