Leaders of IAM District 10, Local 516 in Manitowoc, WI, are citing a last-minute proposal from the company as a key reason for an overwhelming vote to reject the contract and authorize a strike.
“While there was agreement on many issues, the company proposed new language toward the end of the negotiations that was absolutely unacceptable,” said IAM District 10 Business Representative Benito Elizondo. “The company proposed eliminating long-standing contract language requiring any employee who benefits from negotiated wages and benefits to become a member of the union that negotiated those benefits.”
Elizondo referred to Manitowoc’s proposal as the private sector equivalent of what Republican Gov. Scott Walker imposed on Wisconsin’s public sector employees.
“This proposal is nothing more than union busting,” said Elizondo. “It provides no economic value or added productivity for the company and virtually guaranteed the contract would be rejected and the strike would take place.”
According to Elizondo, “IAM District 10 and the Local 516 committee remain committed to meet with the company at any time in an effort to reach an agreement that guarantees our members at Manitowoc Crane the wages, benefits, working conditions and representation rights they deserve.”
IAM Local 516 represents more than 200 workers at Manitowoc Crane in Manitowoc, WI. For information and updates about the strike, visit http://www.iamlodge516.org/.