- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) - Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. said Thursday it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union, averting a possible strike by 10,000 employees at 12 factories in three states.

The new contract, which still requires approval by union members, replaces a six-year agreement that expired at midnight Wednesday. Negotiations began in late August, with the company and the UAW agreeing to not publicly discuss details.

Terms of the agreement haven’t released.

The master labor contract covers manufacturing employees at John Deere facilities in Davenport, Ankeny, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo, Iowa; East Moline, Moline and Milan, Illinois; and Coffeyville, Kansas.

The announcement comes soon after United Auto Workers’ members rejected a proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler that had the support of union leaders.

Workers at many large factories voted against the pact by large margins, with workers at a Toledo, Ohio, assembly plant rejecting the pact Tuesday and members at a Belvidere, Illinois plant - the last ones to vote - turning down the contract Wednesday.

UAW leaders summoned local presidents and bargainers to a meeting in Detroit Thursday to determine the next move, which could include a strike or continued bargaining.

Declining sales have led Deere to lay off more workers in Iowa and Illinois this year.

Deere and the union are negotiating a separate agreement that includes about 110 UAW employees at John Deere parts depots in Atlanta and Denver, the Quad-City Times (http://bit.ly/1KWSkm7 ) reported.

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