Union approves contract extension at Oshkosh Corp.
- Associated Press
- September 30, 2013 - 9:30 AM
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Union workers at Oshkosh Corp. have given the company what it says it needs to make a competitive bid on a military contract worth billions of dollars.
United Auto Workers Local 578 voted Sunday to extend the contract five years after it expires in 2016, protecting more than 2,500 jobs at the Fox Valley's largest manufacturer.
"A lot of futures are at stake," said Local 578 President Joe Preisler, adding that the union bargaining committee would have done the membership a disservice if it hadn't taken the threat seriously.
Oshkosh Corp. is one of three defense contractors bidding on a military contract to build the vehicles that will replace up to 55,000 Humvees for the Army and Marine Corp.
In a letter to union members earlier this month, Oshkosh Corp. President Charles Szews said a contract extension was critically important in the competition to build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and Marines.
Without a contract extension by Monday, the company would have moved on a plan to build the vehicles elsewhere to counter wage and benefit disadvantages in Oshkosh, according to Szews.
"The company will do what is necessary to win the JLTV program to sustain its defense business," he said in his letter.
The contract extension includes a 1.5 percent raise the first three years and 2.5 percent and 3 percent raises in the fourth and fifth years, according to the Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/14VW46V ).
© 2013 Star Tribune