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Union rep: UAW locals 'putting a plan together for next steps' after members reject contract from CNH

Despite being voted down 55% to 45%, Local 807 members on strike in Burlington tell News 8 that 75% of the local voted in favor of the contract offer on Saturday.

BURLINGTON, Iowa — Case New Holland Industrial workers in Burlington were walking the picket line in front of the plant Monday afternoon after United Auto Members voted against the company's contract offer.

About 55% voted against CNH's "last, best and final offer" on Saturday, Jan. 7, while 45% voted in favor.

More than 400 workers from Burlington and another 600 near Racine, Wisconsin have been on strike since May 2, 2022. This was the first contract proposal union leadership had presented to its members for a vote.

Nick Guernsey, president of UAW Local 807 in Burlington, told News 8 on Monday they were meeting and "putting a plan together for the next step in this process."

The contract offer included wage increases of 25% to 38% over the four years, according to a statement from CNH Industrial.

News 8 spoke with several workers on strike in Burlington Monday who said they were happy with the wage increases and voted in favor of the contract. They say 75% of Local 807 members voted to ratify the contract, but Local 180 members in Wisconsin carried the no votes that caused the ratification vote to fail. 

Some added they were hoping to go back to work, but are unsure about what happens next and how quickly things will move toward resolving the strike.

They said they couldn't speak for why members in Wisconsin voted no but said some Burlington workers were unhappy with an insurance policy that would have impacted future CNH employees.

The eight-month-long strike between CNH Industrial and UAW members is among the largest in Iowa since John Deere workers went on strike in fall 2021.

CNH Industrial provided News 8 with the following statement:

“CNH Industrial is disappointed to learn that its recently negotiated and improved Last, Best and Final Offer was not approved in the ratification vote conducted by the Union on Saturday, January 7. This Offer for a new contract, which included wage increases of 25% to 38% over the four years, would have allowed the employees and the Company to move forward at the Company’s plants in Burlington, Iowa and Racine, Wisconsin."

"The Company strongly encourages the Union to allow the employees to reconsider their position in another vote so that the employees can return to work. While we await the Union’s next step, CNH Industrial remains committed to honoring and meeting the needs and demands of our customers and, therefore, we will continue operations at both our Burlington and Racine sites.”

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