CNH Global NV workers go on strike at four plants

More than 600 workers at four CNH Global NV plants walked off their jobs Nov. 3, according to the Associated Press, over failure to negotiate a new six-year labor contract with the equipment maker. The strike shut down production at four plants. The main impact was in Racine, Wis., and Burlington, Iowa, where backhoe loaders are made. According to the United Auto Workers, 350 employees in Racine, 225 in Burlington, 32 in St. Paul, Minn., and 13 in Burr Ridge, Ill., are on strike. A six-year contract for the workers expired May 2, and Local 180 members have worked without a new contract since then. The UAW cites increased health-care premiums and reduced services as problems with CNH’s “final offer,” saying prescription drug coverage, for example, would go from 100 percent to 70 percent. The union also said the company wants to keep the wages of workers hired after May 1998 frozen until new hires catch up with them.