Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have reached a tentative contract agreement.
The new agreement covers a six-year time span and involves around 9,500 employees and 17,000 retirees. More specific details of the contract were not disclosed Deere & Co. or UAW, and both entities noted that further comment about the contract would not be provided at a later date.
The terms of the agreement are going to be presented to the 15 UAW Locals in the in the company, which will vote on whether to ratify it.
"Both parties worked hard to develop an agreement that meets the needs of employees while recognizing the nature of Deere's competitive challenges around the world," David Everitt, president of worldwide agriculture and turf division for the farm equipment company, said.
Deere & Co. recently reported that sales were down by 21 percent during 2009. Samuel Allen, the farm equipment company's chief executive officer, said he does not expect a recovery for the industry until 2010. A good portion of Deere's slump involved its construction equipment lines, which are closely tied to the slumps in the housing market.