Eastern Iowa Workers Continue To Strike After 20 Weeks
On May 1st, 1,000 workers in Burlington, Iowa, and Racine, Wisconsin took to the picket line after labor contract negotiations faltered… that was 20 weeks ago.
Fast forward to today and workers are still on strike.
But the end could be near as negotiators return to the bargaining table.
Workers went on strike in May after labor contract negotiations between companies and workers didn’t line up. Paul Iverson of the Labor Center at the University of Iowa tells Radio Iowa that manufacturer workers that worked through the pandemic approach contract talks differently now.
Workers in organized and unorganized ways have gotten together and said that you know, we're just not going to take the labor relations that existed before COVID. It seems in some of these negotiations it seems that it's taking employers to get t that realization.
CNH is known for its manufacturing of Case IH and New Holland tractors. Last year its competitor, John Deere, dealt with a strike over labor contracts that lasted for five weeks.
In May, CNH tried to offer union leadership a deal that included an 18.5 percent wage increase over the next three years, but this was turned down because people didn’t believe it would cover the cost of inflation.
Tyler Broberson, a 12-year employee of CNH told WQAD that when the strike started, he thought it would only last a few days, but he continues to fight for better working conditions.
I've been here for over 10 years and we get two weeks’ vacation. I've been maxed out on my pay for several years now. There's no way to make any more money on this contract, so hopefully, they get something figured out this go around.
CNH says that it is committed to reaching an agreement and will continue to negotiate in good faith.