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Union members of Eaton Corporation in Davenport vote to go on strike

The company was formerly known as Cobham Mission Systems and was bought by Eaton in February of 2021.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Union members working at Eaton, formerly Cobham Mission Systems, have voted to strike, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, according to union representatives.

"When you take a look at all the PR behind the John Deere strike, the Kellogg's strike, KONE strike, I think that that plays an awful lot and it has kinda changed the mindset of the normal worker. They’re tired, they’re fed up with not getting a fair share," said John Herrig, directing business representative for District 6 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).

The employees belong to the IAMAW Local Lodge No. 388 and Local 1191.

"We took our ratification vote. And the membership spoke and they spoke in a loud and determined voice that the offer from the company is sub-standard and they will not accept that offer," Herrig said. 

The contract was for a three-year structure under Eaton, and 98% of the union members voted to move forward with the strike plans, this being the third and final vote of the process.

"It's pretty much the same that you hear all the time: sub-standard wage offer, the health insurance plan was not as rich as the plan they're accustomed to. Also with the retirement 401K benefit, they had some substantial takeaways in the company match on the pension plan," Herrig said.

Just hours after the vote was passed, Eaton Corporation sent a statement to News 8, reading:

"We are disappointed that the union has elected to strike rather than continue to work under an extension and return to negotiations. We plan to meet with the union Friday or over the weekend to continue negotiations and encourage any employee who wishes to report to work to do so." 

The union had previously stated it was ready and willing to return to the bargaining table as quickly as possible. 

RELATED: Cobham Mission Systems bought by Eaton for $2.8B

The defense and aerospace manufacturing plant employs around 950 people, putting it in the top 20 major employers in the Quad Cities, according to the Quad Cities Chamber.

365 union members are included in that number of total employees.

Eaton has a manufacturing plant in west Davenport along Hickory Grove Road. In 2019, the company announced a multi-million dollar update for the Davenport facility. 

RELATED: What lessons can unions, companies learn from the John Deere strike?

WATCH: Eaton union workers hit the picket lines Friday, Feb. 18:

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