Thousands of John Deere employees across Iowa were on the job Friday morning, working under a contract extension.

On Thursday, many of those employees were preparing for the possibility of strike. A six-year labor agreement between the United Auto Workers Local 838 union and Moline, Ill.-based Deere and Company expired at midnight. Union representatives posted a message on Facebook early Friday morning telling employees to report to work as normal, while the bargaining team continues to negotiate a new contract.

According to an August news release, nearly 10,100 production and maintenance workers across 12 John Deere facilities are impacted by the labor negotiations. Facilities in Iowa are located in Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo, which includes Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works and the downtown Foundry.

The contract also covered workers at a plant in Coffeyville, Kan., and three Illinois facilities: the Harvester Works in East Moline, the North American Parts Distribution Center in Milan, and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline.

Workers represented by UAW Local 838 recently voted on Sept. 12 to strike, if necessary, during contract negotiations.

It has been 35 years since the last UAW strike against Deere and Company. The last time union workers walked off their jobs during contract talks was in 1986. The strike lasted just over five months.

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