Sanders Calls John Deere Threat to Take Away Striking Workers’ Health Coverage ‘Beyond Outrageous’

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among the labor advocates in Congress on Tuesday who condemned reports that farm products manufacturer John Deere plans to drive 10,000 hanging staff and their households off their wellness insurance policy ideas next week—a punitive evaluate to coerce the workers into ending their strike more than what they say is an unfair contract.


The Vermont unbiased senator identified as the firm’s plan “further than outrageous,” noting that John Deere’s income have gone up by 67% in the past year, with a web income between $5.7 and $5.9 billion.



“Employees must be permitted to retain their health care for the duration of the strike,” Sanders mentioned.

“Having healthcare off the bargaining table by producing it a correct for absolutely everyone in America would vastly enhance workers’ bargaining electrical power and make it a lot easier for staff to stand from vicious union-busting attacks.”


Unionized John Deere staff members in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas represented by the United Vehicle Employees (UAW), went on strike very last week around strategies to conclusion pensions for recently-hired employees and fork out raises amounting to only 5% to 6%, despite the firm’s skyrocketing revenue and a 160% increase in CEO John May’s compensation since the coronavirus pandemic commenced.


The strike is component of what labor advocates have known as “Striketober.” In latest days, 24,000 nurses and other healthcare personnel at Kaiser Permanente have voted to authorize a strike if the firm retains its tow-tiered wages and advantages technique, whilst more than 1,400 Kellogg’s employees stay on the picket line and neighborhood unions nationwide are in a variety of levels of authorizing function stoppages.


Jonah Furman of Labor Notes reported very last Friday that placing John Deere workers have acquired the business will lower them off from their wellness insurance policy programs setting up Oct 27, weeks immediately after Congress permitted COBRA subsidies to expire.


“They could just as very easily not do this, but they want to crack the strike,” Furman said.



At Common Dreams last 7 days, Mark Dudzic, chair of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, wrote that Striketober and corporation’s strike-breaking initiatives bolster the circumstance for Medicare for All. 


“From cereal makers in Michigan to healthcare facility staff in Buffalo, unionized workers are going on strike and rejecting contracts that shift the load of pandemic recovery on to their backs,” wrote Dudzic. “Having healthcare off the bargaining desk by creating it a correct for all people in The us would vastly improve workers’ bargaining electric power and make it easier for staff to stand against vicious union-busting attacks.”