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.
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.
"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.
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.