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Motion denied: John Deere workers on strike in Polk County allowed to continue

"The Union has every incentive to make sure that its members act within the bounds of the law," Judge Paul Scott wrote.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Picketers outside John Deere facilities in Polk County can continue to strike against the company as they have been doing the past few weeks.

Judge Paul Scott issued a ruling Tuesday morning, denying Deere's request to limit the actions of picketers writing, "Deere has failed to establish an invasion or threatened invasion of a right, that substantial injuries or damages will result unless an injunction is granted..."

Attorneys for the agricultural machinery company argued in court last week that picketers in Polk County were obstructing access to the company's property. 

Video shown identified a few individuals standing in front of vehicles driving into Deere facilities, which the company argued was a safety hazard.

But union attorneys believe the actions of only a few were represented in video evidence, as those on strike had gone through picketing training.  

The judge agreed with the union's argument, writing "The Union has every incentive to make sure that its members act within the bounds of the law..."

Read the full court order below

Attorneys for the union provided a statement to Local 5 after the ruling was issued.

"The decision from the Polk County District Court reaffirms what the union has been saying all along: these are orderly picketing activities that are legally protected by the National Labor Relations Act and the First Amendment. It is unfortunate that Deere has tried to use state court intervention to disrupt and control the union’s right to engage in picketing, but we are encouraged that the court saw through that effort and ultimately protected the union’s rights,” said attorney Mark Hedberg, who serves as local counsel for the United Auto Workers.

A judge in Scott County approved an injunction to limit the number of picketers last week.

This is a developing story. Local 5 will add more information throughout the day.

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