CNH declines strikers’ offer to return to work

A union representing 650 CNH Global employees offered to end its strike Nov. 22, but the company would not allow workers to return to their jobs. Based on the United Auto Workers’ decision to strike Nov. 3, the company declared an impasse and said it was implementing the terms of its final contract offer. The union rejected the offer six months ago. The union has agreed to return to bargaining. “We do not think it is appropriate at this time to allow striking employees to return to work while the parties remain so far apart in the negotiation process,” CNH chief negotiator Tom Graham said in a statement. The dispute involves about 650 workers in Racine, Wis.; Burlington, Iowa; St. Paul, Minn.; and Burr Ridge, Ill. The company resumed production in Racine and Burlington, where CNH manufacturers farm tractors and backhoe loaders, respectively, two weeks ago using a combination of salaried employees and temporary replacement workers. CNH said it plans to continue using that team until negotiations lead to a contract acceptable to the company.