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Letter: Take care of workers
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Letter: Take care of workers

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I worked 36 years as a machinist on the factory floor for John Deere. I am now a Deere/UAW retiree. If I were to bleed, I’d bleed John Deere green; actually John Deere industrial yellow. I am hesitant about saying anything, but I feel that I must.

In my 36 years rarely have I seen an ad in the paper for workers. Now ads are weekly, even daily. I’ve heard that they also have a high turnover rate.

Deere always paid the best and with that you get the best employees. Employees like me stayed for 20-, 30-plus years, which made Deere the great company it is today.

I was also a Deere shareholder. The best that I remember is my Deere stock hitting $150 per share. Today’s newspaper says Deere stock sits at $343, more than double. The best dividend that I ever received was $1.20, and today it sits at $4.20, more than triple. The wages of the UAW workers have not increased anywhere near that much.

My point is that you need to take care of your UAW workers as well, if not better, than your shareholders. Has a shareholder ever tightened a bolt on a combine, gotten sweaty assembling a 4-wheel drive loader or had the skills of a tradesman to repair a high-tech machining center?

Also, it's time to end all incentive/piecework plans.

Your most important assets are your highly skilled and proud UAW employees!

Bill Elder



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