John Deere sees record annual income despite strike

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John Deere on Wednesday reported that its net income for fiscal 2021 was a record of nearly $6 billion despite  the company grappling with a weeks-long employee strike that just ended.

The farm equipment manufacturer reported that its net income for fiscal 2021 was $5.963 billion compared to $2.751 billion in fiscal 2020.

John Deere reported strong fourth quarter results for fiscal 2021, including a 16 percent increase to $11.327 billion, in global net sales and revenue.

Equipment operations net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were also at $10.276 billion compared to the same period in 2020 of $8.659 billion.

John Deere estimated that its fiscal 2022 net income would be between $6.5 billion and $7 billion. 

“Our results reflect strong end-market demand and our ability to continue serving customers while managing supply-chain issues and conducting contract negotiations with our largest union,” company CEO and chairman John May said in a statement. 

“Last week’s ratification of a 6-year agreement with the UAW brings our highly skilled employees back to work building the finest products in our industries. The agreement shows our ongoing commitment to delivering best-in-class wages and benefits,” he added. 

Last week, John Deere union workers approved a new contract that would provide employees with better benefits after they went on a weeks-long strike against the company — the first one since 1986. 

Among the benefits that union workers received included a $8,500 signing bonus, better retirement options and cost of living adjustments. 

Companies like John Deere have experienced renewed demands from workers for better pay, hours and other work conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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