Eight UAW women on strike have scheduled with Molly Gates for a pay-as-you-can haircut at Studio 23 in Moline. Her colleague, Ashley Paitten Christensen, specializes in men’s cuts, and has a similar roster.
Both Gates and Paitten Christensen are closely connected to the strike. Gates’ husband and Paitten Christensen’s father are UAW members, so they brainstormed how they could use their talents to support the strikers.
“They sacrifice a lot to do what they do for Deere,” Gates said. “It's the least we could do.”
As the largest strike at John Deere in more than 30 years continues, small businesses in the Quad-Cities are offering free or discounted goods and services for union workers and their families ranging from free burgers and alcohol to discounted haircuts and furnace repair.
Quad-Cities small businesses and nonprofits, too, are donating directly to picket lines, stocking striking workers with meals, snacks and hand warmers and firewood to keep warm on the line. The community support, many union workers and families say, is good for morale and a help while money is tight.
“It honestly just helps 100% with the stress,” one striking UAW worker said while getting their hair trimmed. “Knowing that we’ve got the backing of the community to help throughout all of this — it was this or shave my head.”
All proceeds from union workers’ pay-as-you-can haircuts from the two women will go toward purchasing supplies for striking workers — hand warmers, firewood, and more, Gates said. She’s even had people reach out asking to sponsor union workers’ haircuts.
Dawn Dunbar, owner of A Hair on Fifth salon in Moline, too, knows what it’s like to support a family through a union strike. That’s why she’s offering a $5 hair cut to any UAW members who walk through the doors of her shop.
“Some guys get their hair cut every two or three weeks,” Dunbar said. “That can add up.”
Her husband worked for McLaughlin Body Co. in 2004, when workers went on strike for months after voting down a contract offer. At the time, they were trying to make ends meet with two kids and a small union paycheck. Because the strike was before social media rose to prominence, she didn’t remember any widely publicized discounts from businesses.
“I’ll be honest with you, in 2004, I don’t remember if there were many opportunities like this,” Dunbar said. “We didn’t have social media at the time.”
Here’s a list of ongoing discounts for John Deere employees on strike. Dozens more small businesses and nonprofits have donated meals, snacks, coffee and water, posted signs and offered social media support. A list compiled by union supporters totaled more than 115 businesses.
Food and alcohol
- The Pub, Milan: free pulled pork and a pop for strikers every day until the strike ends
- Tap 22, Silvis: One free burger per day until the strike ends
- 11th Hour Bar & Grill, Silvis: free Classic Burger for union members
- Fields of Pizza, East Moline: free chicken and first Busch light on the house. This week Monday through Thursday starts at 3 p.m.
- Janie’s Riverview Café, Buffalo: 50% off meals and free coffee until agreement is reached
- Divine Soul2Soul Catering, LLC: catering food to each locals and picketing areas
- Quad-Cities 7 Eleven locations: one free Big Gulp or large coffee per day
- The Pickerman’s Deli, Rock Island: free sandwich and chips every Monday until the strike ends
- Midwest Meats: discounted steak and seafood bundles; buy one get one free or half price one bundle
- The Q, Bettendorf: Buy-one-get-one-free drinks
- The Captain’s Table, Moline: $2 cans of beer and $6 burger baskets until strike ends
- The Doc’s Inn and Whiskey Stop, Silvis: $2 domestic bottles of beer
- The Bulldog Arms, Bettendorf: $1.50 domestic cans and $3.50 fireballs until a contract is agreed upon
- Top Hat Pizza, Moline: free small cheese bread with purchase of large pizza
- Gunchies, Davenport Any large pizza for medium price and a free drink
- The Coliseum Bar & Grill, Walcott: $2 off any meal throughout the strike
- Almost Home, Silvis: $1.50 domestics and $3.50 “You Call It’s” until the strike is over
- Racers Edge: first beer on the owner
- Casey’s Tavern, Moline: half off all beers
- Legends, Erie: $2 off meals, $1 off drinks until the strike is over
- HEY BRYANS, Moline: one drink per day until the strike ends
- Legends Corner, Milan: $8 special burger baskets plus a drink until strike is over
- Brandon's Pub & Grill, Rock Island: 15% off entire bill
- Riverview Roadhouse, LeClaire: $1.50 Busch Lights and half off burger baskets
- Leisure Time Ballard's & Sports Bar, East Moline: free fries or tots with a sandwich purchase
- Frenell Livestock Co.: discount on meat bundles
- Jaded Java, East Moline: 20% off all nonalcoholic beverages and food
- SouthPark Mall food pantry, River Bend Foodbank
- Tuesdays 2-6:30 p.m.
- Thursdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- NorthPark Mall food pantry, River Bend Foodbank
- Mondays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wednesdays 2-6:30 p.m.
- Bobb Chiropractic Center, Silvis: free adjustment or exam with an appointment. For new patients, both are free.
- Doug’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Moline: free service call and discounted repairs for furnaces
- Allied Barber & Supply, Davenport: 10% off any service
- Big River Tree Service: discounted tree services
- Sunlight Yoga + Apothecary, Davenport: one free de-stress class per day
- Rye Meadow Photography: pay-what-you-can photos
- Oakie’s Designs: $15 over the collar union bandana for pets. All proceeds go to supplies for picketers and UAW members.
- The Smoking Pipe Shop, Milan: 20% off all purchases
- Teachers’ Aide: 10% off purchase, doesn’t include discounted items
- Valley Creations: Three HyVee gift card giveaways, enter by liking the page
- Fish Trap, East Moline: 10% off everything in store
- CI Sign and Apparel, Milan: $2 UAW car decals