John Deere distributors worry about strike, say they’ve already had trouble getting products

Local News

We are now just hours away from what could be the first strike at John Deere in 35 years, as thousands of workers are ready to walk off the job. This strike could have major consequences for businesses that sell John Deere products, such as Sloan Implement, a John Deere distributor in Fulton, Ill.

Eric Maloney, the store manager at Sloan Implement’s Fulton location, says they have already had trouble getting products from John Deere lately due to issues with shipping. He worries that a strike will make things even worse.

“We’ve already had difficulty getting all of the parts and machinery that we need,” Maloney said. “There’s already been significant and sometimes severe delays trying to get certain parts and whole goods.”

Even worse for distributors and farmers, this strike is coming in the middle of harvest season.

“It’ll just make the already tough situation tougher,” Maloney said. “Obviously having a strike, then go full force, especially right in the middle of harvest season, is not a good thing to happen. Even if you’ve got a, you know, $600,000 combine [harvester] sitting there and it needs one little widget that it can’t run without, it still can’t go, you know, until that one part comes in from that supplier.”

Maloney says, with all of these components considered, he thinks the best thing that could happen would be John Deere and the United Auto Workers (UAW) coming to a deal, and he has faith they can make it happen.

“We really want to be hopeful and feel like, you know, it’s in the best interest of both sides to be able to get something worked out,” Maloney said.

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