UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line

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John Deere Dubuque Works union employee Steve Thor pickets outside UAW Local 94 in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday, the first major walkout at the agricultural machinery giant in more than three decades. (Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP)

MILAN, Ill. (AP) — Police say a driver struck and killed a United Auto Workers member as he was walking to a picket line outside a John Deere plant in Illinois.

Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said the man was struck Wednesday morning near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in the northwest Illinois city.

He says authorities do not believe the fatality was intentional but that the investigation is ongoing. The UAW leadership in Detroit said in a statement that the man had worked at the plant for 15 years.

More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike this month at 14 Deere factories in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia after the UAW rejected a contract offer. It was the first major walkout at the agricultural machinery giant in more than three decades.

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