Approximately 1,200 United Auto Workers union members at the CHN Industrial plants in Racine, Wisconsin, and Burlington, Iowa will remain on strike for the fifth week after UAW leaders have refused a deal with the company.
The union says it is seeking higher wages and benefits for its members. Employees at the two facilities walked out on May 2.
CNH Industrial is the corporation that owns and manufactures the Case IH and New Holland brands.
The Racine plant manufacturers the Magnum series tractor, while the Burlington plant manufactures tractor loaders, backhoes, bulldozers and corn and auger heads.
Both CNH Industrial and the United Auto Workers put out competing statements regarding their contract negotiations after reports said both sides left the bargaining table.
In an email statement, CNH says, “After several meetings, the company presented the union with all all-encompassing, comprehensive document addressing the outstanding issues. Unfortunately, the union declined to meet or allow the company to explain its position and proposal.”
The company also says the union wouldn’t allow its members to even view the proposal. The union statement says CNH Industrial entered the negotiations with what it called “principles of fear and intimidation,” and hoped to “starve out UAW members.”
The UAW email says, “The company’s latest proposal falls short of our member’s bargaining agenda. Our bargainers are meeting with our members and communicating the areas of concern that remain unresolved.”
The union says it’s proud of its members for displaying solidarity and support for the negotiating team throughout the process.
CNH Industrial’s 2022 first-quarter financials, showed revenues of $4.6 billion, an increase of 13.4% compared to 2021 first-quarter figures, resulting in adjusted net income of $378 million.
A recent survey from Farm Equipment found that 64.8% of surveyed dealers indicated they were worried about the impact ongoing contract negotiations between CNH Industrial and United Auto Workers could have on their business.
Many dealers referenced ongoing supply chain issues in the ag equipment industry, stating a strike could make the situation even worse.
“Supply chain is backed up now, and we are not getting equipment in a timely manner. If they end up striking, this will make that situation even worse for us and our customers,” said one dealer.
“We are eight, nine months behind on production now, I can’t imagine a strike would help much. Although, if it is short-lived, maybe it will give some time for supply chain issues to catch up,” said another dealer.
Last year, a strike at Deere & Co. lasted for four weeks and ended with 10-percent raises and an increase in benefits for 10,000 UAW workers.
NAFB/Michigan Farm Bureau