The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) members working for CNH Industrial, the parent company of Case IH and New Holland tractors, started a strike May 2, after they said the company failed to present an agreement that met member demands and needs.
More than 1,000 members at CNH Industrial locations in Racine, Wisconsin, and Burlington, Iowa, set up pickets for the strike. The members stated they are on strike for improved standard of living, retirement benefits, and a better work environment, according to the UAW.
“Our members are working in solidarity and ready to hold out and fight for a contract they believe meets their needs,” said Ron McInroy, director of the UAW’s Region 4. “Our members and their families appreciate the community support they have already gotten. Strikes are never easy, but the fight for better working conditions at work is worth it.”
“Our members at CNHi strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity, and establish fair work rules,” said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Implement Department. “We stay committed to bargaining until our members goals are achieved.”
This echoes many of the sentiments shared by the more than 10,000 UAW workers at several John Deere & Co. facilities who went on strike in fall 2021. At Deere, union workers collided with management over wage increases as well as health-care and retirement benefits. That strike lasted five weeks before a new six-year contract was finalized and approved.
According to a report from Reuters, CNH Industrial “remained committed” to reaching an agreement with its members.
“We recognize the union’s decision creates high anxiety among our represented employees in Burlington and Racine. We will continue to negotiate in good faith and trust that the Union will do the same,” a CNH Industrial spokesperson told the outlet.
UAW President Ray Curry said the almost 1 million UAW retirees and active members stand in solidarity with the striking workers at CNHi.
“All UAW members are united with UAW CNHi workers,” Curry said. “UAW CNHi members have worked through the pandemic after the company deemed them essential, to produce the equipment that feeds America, builds America and powers the American economy. They are a strong united union voice on the picket line they can make a difference for working families here and throughout the country.”
In the Deere strike, UAW members ultimately saw a 10 percent raise and improved benefits for their efforts. It is impossible to know how long or what effects the CNH Industrial strike will have on farmers and ranchers. CNH Industrial is unquestionably one of the largest tractor companies in the world in terms of marketshare, and many reports put the company as the No. 2 manufacturer in North America.