United Auto Workers-Case New Holland strike passes 90-day mark in Burlington

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 11:20 PM CDT
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BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - United Auto Workers in Burlington, Iowa, and Racine, Wisconsin have been on strike for three months now. The union is asking Case New Holland for better pay, healthcare and working conditions.

The company and the UAW bargaining team were last at the table in mid-June. However, membership has yet to even vote on an offer.

Despite that, union members on the picket line stand behind union leadership.

Local 807 President Nick Guernsey said CNH is simply not meeting the union’s demands.

“The ones that care the most are out and the ship sinking,” Guernsey said. “We’ll see what happens though when [company representatives] want to get real.”

CNH offered UAW leadership a deal in late May, which included an 18.5% increase over three years. However, the offer wasn’t voted on by union members as the bargaining team felt it wouldn’t cover the cost of inflation.

“We’re waiting for a serious offer, they haven’t been serious the whole time, they were serious about trying to break us,” Guernsey said. [Once a dollar amount] gets triggered then enough’s enough, let’s get real, and then both sides gets real and we go back to work.”

Replacement workers are operating the lines in Burlington. While these temporary employees are spending money in the city’s hotels and restaurants, Mayor Jon Billups said it’s time to get people who live in and around Burlington back to work.

“[CNH and UAW] should be sitting at the table,” Billups said. “One, Case needs to put out a better product with the Burlington workers than they’re putting out now. [Two,] our Burlington people need their jobs back. So, we need them back at the table to hammer out an agreement.”

Most of the workers on the picket line Wednesday night told our TV6 crew that morale is still high. In June, members received a bump in strike pay from $275 to $400 a week.

Ultimately, Guernsey said as long as the strike continues, CNH customers will be the ones paying the price.

“We never wanted to go on strike,” Guernsey said. “When you take the ones that care the most about it, and the ones that are just there for profit — this is the mess we’re in.”

Negotiations are set to resume between UAW and CNH on Aug. 17.

TV6 News reached out to representatives at CNH for a statement on the strike entering its fourth month, but they have yet to respond.

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