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Farm and construction equipment industry.

In contrast with their 1987 settlement, which was preceded by a 5 1/2-month work stoppage, Deere & Co. and the Auto Workers settled peacefully on companywide issues. There were stoppages of a few hours over local issues at some of the 14 plants. Certainly, one factor contributing to the peaceful accord was Deere's return to profitability. Although the resurgence was tempered by increasing competition from foreign manufacturers and drought conditions in 1988, Deere was still expected to earn more than $200 million for the year.

Unlike the 1987 settlement, the 1988 settlement provided for a specified wage increase of 44.3 cents an hour, effective immediately. This will be followed by lump-sum payments in the second and third years equal to 3 percent of each employee's base pay during the preceding 12 months and possible automatic quarterly cost-of-living adjustments. Under the 20-month 1987 contract, the employees received one lump-sum payment of $735, and quarterly cost-of-living adjustments.

Other terms included improvements in profit-sharing, pension, and job security plans, and a moratorium on plant closings.

Elsewhere in the farm equipment industry, the Auto Workers resumed negotiations with Caterpillar Inc. Bargaining had started in early August at both companies, but the union later suspended the talks with Caterpillar to concentrate on reaching agreement with Deere.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1988
Previous Article:West Coast lumber bargaining completed.
Next Article:General Dynamics - Metal Trades Council contract.

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