Kohler Company sees biggest picket line yet: “We just want a fair contract”

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY -- The first measurable snowfall is not stopping a huge picket outside the Kohler Company in Sheboygan County. Nearly a week into a strike, Saturday, November 21st marked the largest demonstrations.

Kohler Company strike

Kohler Company strike

In the normally sleepy Village of Kohler, there is extra noise. Six days into a strike at Kohler Co., thousands more join the picket lines outside the plant. Unions from around the region are standing side by side with United Auto Workers Local 833.

"We don't want the world. We just want a fair contract," said Jean Balde, Kohler employee.

There are signs the union is prepared for a long fight.

Workers say they are fighting to eliminate a tiered pay scale system in which new workers make up to 65% less than those who started at the company more than five years ago.

Kohler Company strike

Kohler Company strike

"We're just asking for them to make the contract, so that tier A associate, and a tier B associate over the same amount of time, can earn the same amount of money," said Dorothy Jones, Kohler employee.

Kohler Company strike

Kohler Company strike

Workers also say the company is not offering affordable insurance.

"A lot of people here need to make a better living and I just think they can," said Gary Ausloos, Kohler employee.

In a statement earlier this week, Kohler says their final offer increases wages and benefits for all workers. They say the lowest paid would get an immediate 20% pay bump.

"I think they can come to an agreement. I really do," said Ausloos.

The workers say they are hopeful for a resolution, but are determined in any weather to keep picketing.

"Until we get a fair contract, we'll always be here," said Balde.

Kohler Company strike

7 comments

  • .

    Workers also say the company is not offering affordable insurance. That’s because of snobamacare not kohler and a 20% pay increase? I’ll drive the 11/2 hours there for that. These people are just greedy. I keep forgetting they’re in a union, my bad.

  • R

    To the Kohler family:

    Stand in front of the picket line, tell them it’s your final offer or you’ll fire every single one of them by moving the plant to a non-union state, or Mexico. Whatever is cheaper.

    Shut these crybullies up once and for all. There’s no place for unions in the workforce anymore. Especially for noneducated general labor standing in front of a machine and pushing a button. They have no respect for you, no respect for the city of Kohler, and don’t deserve to get their demands simply because they can act like a modern day lynch mob.

    You own the business. You own the means of production. You sign the paychecks. If they can’t appreciate that, then they need to leave.

    • Liberalprotestershavenothingelsebettertodo

      Thank you, at least someone out there still has common sense. I just wish Kohler thought the way you do.

  • Libsareliars

    According to the article the lower tier workers get a 20% bump in pay. I am sure you can find many workers who would take that offer in a second. You also mention you work 53 hours a week. I am sure anything over 40 hours is overtime. Be thankful you can make that kind of money so why don’t stop biting the hand that feeds you.

    • Libsareliars

      Kohler worker apparently your reading skills need updating. It says the lowest pay tiers will receive an immediate 20% bump in pay. No where in the article does it say the word average!!!

Comments are closed.