Following John Deere contract ratification, Des Moines UAW bargaining chair dies of COVID-19


Tyler Jett, Des Moines Register (IA)

Nov 18, 2021


The day after United Auto Workers members ratified their new contract with Deere & Co., the head negotiator for the Des Moines local died of COVID-19.


UAW Local 450, which represents workers at Deere's Ankeny plant, announced in a Facebook post that bargaining committee chair Curtis Templeman had died Thursday afternoon. The local posted earlier in the day that Templeman had been intubated at an Iowa City hospital.


"He fought through what he thought was 'the sniffles' to finish these negotiations," the union posted online. "When it was done, he went to seek medical treatment and was diagnosed with Covid. ... I don't know that I've seen (a) more (selfless) act. He pushed through to make sure he served the brothers and sisters that elected him."


Templeman previously told the Des Moines Register that he had checked into the hospital with COVID-19 around the beginning of November, between the first and second contract votes in the negotiations with Deere. Before local union leaders went back to the bargaining table with the company Nov. 11 and 12, he said he would join any negotiations over the phone from there...