Combat over postal car manufacturing might proceed for union, Wisconsin Senate candidates | WUWM 89.7 FM

A labor chief says strain will proceed on a Wisconsin firm to alter its plans to construct a brand new fleet of postal automobiles in South Carolina and as an alternative transfer the work to the Badger State.

The problem can also proceed for some time in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate election this yr.

The United Auto Employees held a rally Saturday in Oshkosh, outdoors the worldwide headquarters of the Oshkosh Company. The demand to the corporate: let the U.S. Postal Service know the agency now not plans to construct as much as 165,000 postal automobiles over the following decade in Spartanburg South Carolina, the place the corporate might use non-union labor, and as an alternative construct the postal automobiles in Oshkosh. This may add 1,000 union jobs to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO State President Stephanie Bloomingdale speaks throughout Saturday’s rally in Oshkosh.

Milwaukee-based AFL-CIO state President Stephanie Bloomingdale led the group of about 250 individuals in one of many chants.

“Make it right here, make it right here, and make it union!” Bloomingdale exclaimed, as the group responded.

The Postal Service introduced the contract with Oshkosh Corp. simply over a yr in the past, and a few Milwaukee leaders pushed for manufacturing to occur on the largely vacant Century Metropolis property on town’s north aspect. However 4 months later, the corporate stated the automobiles can be in-built South Carolina, calling it the “excellent place” to make what’s known as the Subsequent Technology Supply Automobile.

Final week, Postmaster Normal Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee, dominated the contract may go forward. He addressed latest calls from the Biden administration to make many of the automobiles electrical by saying for now about 10% of the automobiles will probably be EV, and possibly extra later.


Oshkosh Corp. international headquarters in Oshkosh.

Regardless of DeJoy’s announcement, Bob Lynk, who heads UAW Native 578 on the Oshkosh plant, stated the union’s worldwide leaders out of Detroit plan to contract the corporate once more this week. Lynk additionally stated the message he will get from Washington is to maintain pushing.

“We’ve talked to congresspeople, and I have not been informed, ‘Bob, you are not doing the fitting factor,’ or no matter. I have been informed many occasions to maintain the struggle up. Maintain doing what I am doing. So, that is what I am doing,”Lynk informed WUWM after the rally.

Lynk stated he isn’t solely nervous concerning the postal car jobs. He is involved that when a present native contract to construct mild tactical automobiles for the U.S. army ends in about 5 years that Oshkosh Corp. will promise that any subsequent protection contract can be accomplished outdoors of Wisconsin.


Army automobiles outdoors the Oshkosh Protection (a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp.) plant in Oshkosh.

Scott Knuth is a welder on these army automobiles. He stated having paying union job has been a giant plus for his household.

“I imply shopping for our first residence, I imply new automobiles. My daughter performs hockey, in order that’s an costly sport proper off the bat. I imply simply an enormous, big distinction,” he stated.

Knuth stated welding is hard, soiled work, however he loves it. He is been with Oshkosh Company for 13 years, and stated he’d prefer to finally retire there.

The AFL-CIO’s Bloomingdale known as the Oshkosh battle a major level within the state’s labor historical past. She praised Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin for pledging assist, however stated Republican Sen. Ron Johnson doesn’t have the employees’ backs.

“Sen. Ron Johnson simply does not get it, and he reminds us of this nearly each time he talks,” Bloomingdale informed WUWM.

Saturday’s rally in Oshkosh additionally featured speeches by the 5 Democrats working towards Johnson on this yr’s election — Mandela Barnes, Tom Nelson, Alex Lasry, Steven Olikara and Sarah Godlewski. All harassed their labor union roots or help for union staff, and stated Johnson has not labored exhausting sufficient to get Oshkosh Company to construct the postal automobiles right here.


Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (with microphone) at a Republican Nationwide Committee occasion Feb. 18 in Milwaukee.

On February 18 following a marketing campaign occasion in Milwaukee, Johnson stated he is talked with either side at Oshkosh and informed information reporters about his roots as a enterprise proprietor.

“I truly perceive the manufacturing course of. I perceive capability. I perceive funding, and I ‘m not going to micromanage Oshkosh Company’s enterprise. That is their job to do it. However speaking to everyone, it sorts of is smart what’s occurring and the funding Oshkosh Company was speaking to me about, I feel that’ll be very optimistic,” Johnson stated.

Oshkosh Company has promised to arrange a technical help heart in Oshkosh for the postal car undertaking, creating about 100 jobs.

That is one-tenth of the car manufacturing positions at present slated for South Carolina.

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