RACINE, Wis. — Despite the pouring rain and high winds on Tuesday, unionized workers for the agricultural machinery company CNH industrial aren’t backing down.
"United we bargain, divided we beg," said Richard Glowacki, president of the United Auto Workers CNH council.
When the clock struck noon Monday afternoon, more than 1,100 employees combined from the industrial plant in Racine and Burlington, Iowa went on strike. Demanding better wages, hours, and work conditions.
"For some reason, the company does not want to compensate us, amongst other things, for the heavy manufacturing that we produce here in Racine," said the president of the United Auto Workers local 180, Yasin Mahdi.
Representatives with the United Auto Workers local chapter in Racine say they started negotiations with CNH Industrial back in February after their six-year contract with the plant ended. But they say when they brought up the employee's requests during the renegotiation process, their demands fell on deaf ears.
"They pretty much laid the line in the sand saying this is where we are at, kind of like take it or leave it," said Glowacki.
When asked about the strike and the workers’ demands, CNH sent out this statement:
"CNH Industrial is disappointed that the parties were unable to reach an agreement and that the UAW has decided to call a strike. We recognize the Union’s decision creates high anxiety among our represented employees in Burlington and Racine, as well as our other employees, our customers, and our community. We remain committed to reaching an agreement, and we are working to resolve this issue. We will continue to negotiate in good faith and trust that the Union will do the same."
"We are just looking for what’s fair," said Mahdi.
Until then, these employees say they’ll be protesting outside of the CNH Industrial building every day rain or shine until an agreement is made.