John Deere asks Polk Co. judge to limit picketing outside Ankeny plant


DES MOINES, IOWA — John Deere is asking a Polk County judge to shut down most of the picketing activity outside of their Ankeny plant during a UAW strike. However, an attorney representing the union says federal law protects union workers’ rights to protest and district court action can’t supersede it.

John Deere is seeking an injunction that would limit the number of picketers allowed outside of their plant as their strike stretches into a second week. On Wednesday a Scott County judge did agree with Deere‘s requests. On Thursday the two sides argued their case in Polk County.

An attorney for Deere is asking a judge to step in and stop protestors from blocking roads leading to the plant and from gathering in large groups outside. An attorney representing UAW workers says their rights to protest are protected by the National Labor Relations Act and federal precedence. Mark Hedberg says the issue should be addressed in a federal court and accused John Deere of trying to use state police power to breakup a legal strike.

A judge did not issue a ruling on Thursday but says a ruling will be made quickly as the matter is time sensitive.

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