After four days of negotiations, talks between Case New Holland Industrial and the United Auto Workers on strike at the agricultural implement and heavy equipment manufacturer ended without an agreement May 19.
Workers at the company’s factories in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and Burlington, Iowa, members of UAW locals 180 and 807, walked off the job May 2.
“We have been bargaining in good faith. But it turns out that they really are not interested,” Rich Glowacki, chairman of UAW Local 180 and president of the UAW-Case New Holland Council, told the Militant in a phone interview.
“The conversations we were having with the company and their verbal agreement on many of the issues led us to believe that we were approaching a proposal that would meet the needs and concerns of our members,” he said. “But the written proposal they came back with contained none of what we thought had been agreed to. In fact, in some ways it contained provisions that are worse than what we have already.”
Among concerns workers want addressed are schedules and excessive overtime that wreak havoc with family life and vacations, and a big enough wage hike to keep up with inflation.
“Morale on the picket line is high,” Glowacki said. “CNH is in for a surprise when this thing is settled. Everybody who went out is not coming back. Already a good number have quit for higher-paying jobs with better benefits and working conditions.”