UAW Striker Killed on John Deere Picket Line

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UAW Striker Killed on John Deere Picket Line
© Photo: Justin Sullivan / Staff (Getty Images)

A United Auto Workers striker was hit and killed by a car this morning, as reported by OurQuadCities. Not a lot is known at this time, but we do know the striker was hit near the picket line at about 6:00 a.m. local time this morning. Their death has been confirmed by the county coroner, and you can expect more information once the family has been notified.

Journalist Jonah Furman also reported the death, saying union members had previously complained about poor lighting in the area. They have also reportedly been pelted with eggs and been threatened by trucks swerving in their direction.

Member have complained about the poor lighting along some of these picket lines, including where the injunction is still in effect in Davenport, Iowa.

They’ve also told me about trucks swerving at the picketers and some have had eggs thrown at them & other kinds of intimidation.

— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) October 27, 2021

This news comes a little more than a week after a salaried Deere worker reportedly hit a UAW striker with their car. As we previously reported, it’s also part of a pattern of increasing violence against union picketers and other protesters. But as the comments section on that previous article shows, plenty of people still insist on blaming those being attacked, not the ones literally driving their cars into actual human beings.

It’s currently not clear whether the driver who killed the Deere employee attempted to intimidate the strikers with their car, so it’s possible they simply killed someone because they’re a bad driver. Either way, it’s a tragedy that should never have happened. You know, because it’s still bad to kill someone with your car even if you don’t mean to.

Unfortunately, lots of people have been killing other people with their cars lately. Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. skyrocketed in 2020, posting the biggest year-over-year increase ever recorded, an increase the Governors Highway Safety Association called “shocking and unprecedented.” Further, vehicles have been used as weapons in increasing cases, especially against groups of people gathered together to protest a cause — like the 90+ cases of vehicle-ramming incidents that took place during 2020’s nationwide George Floyd protests. Whether the Deere worker’s death was part of an intentional ramming remains to be seen, but it is harrowing that it comes during yet another protest.

Deere has released a statement on the death, saying, “We are saddened by the tragic accident and death of one of our employees who was struck by a vehicle before dawn this morning while crossing the Milan Beltway. All of us at John Deere express our deepest condolences to their family and friends. We have no further details as we await reports from law enforcement.”

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