Letter to the editor: COGS stands in solidarity with Deere strikers

A COGS member holds a poster while a group of students look at and film the protest for better COVID-19 protections at the University of Iowa. — Adria Carpenter/Little Village

To the members of all UAW Locals on strike against John Deere and Company,

We, the members of UE Local 896 / COGS, graduate workers at the University of Iowa, are in solidarity with your brave and necessary strike actions. While John Deere brought in record profits this year, they have offered you inadequate wage increases and an end to pension for all new hires. This comes after years of John Deere rolling back benefits and restructuring so-called incentive plans to exploit workers further. The two-tier contract system at John Deere divides workers and creates an unjust working environment. We admire your unity despite their efforts to undermine worker solidarity.

Your strike is inspiring workers across the county. We see the power you are building. It gives us hope that together we can create real change in our workplaces and communities. Through your strike, we see that workers have strength in numbers.

COGS fully endorses and supports your actions. Your bold and brave choice to withhold your labor is necessary to show your employer that you refuse to work without fair compensation and representation. COGS is with you!

In Solidarity!
The members of UE Local 896 / COGS

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