Woman remembers family’s struggle during the 1986 John Deere strike

Local News

John Deere has enjoyed labor peace for 35 years. The last strike was in 1986 and went on for a few months.

People around the area remember the impact it had on their families. Heidi Egger was a senior in high school when her dad and many of her uncles went on strike. She started to work to help her family, especially since the strike lasted almost six months.

“He sat me down and asked if there was any way he could borrow some money from me to put food on the table and pay some bills,” Egger said. “So of course I grabbed my savings and what I had in my paycheck. My mom had to go to work, was really crushing for my dad and he picked up any odd jobs he could come up with just to make ends need.”

Eggers knows what union workers are going through and understands why they may go on a strike.

“I do feel that the union members have the right to strike given the success of John Deere,” Egger said. “I think they’ve been extremely profitable.”

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