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Update: CNHI Strikers Face Loss of Healthcare in Uphill Strike

May 13, 2022
UAW Local 180 reported the company would cancel healthcare for striking workers effective May 13.

As the strike of CNH Industrial by about 1,000 UAW-represented employees closes out its second week, the striking workers may have to contend now with the loss of their healthcare. UAW Local 180, which represents UAW members in the Racine, Iowa, region, announced CNH (Case New Holland) informed them picketing employees would lose company-provided healthcare benefits effective May 13.

According to local news source The Journal Times, which operates out of Racine County, CNHi says it negotiated with the UAW that striking workers would “transition” to UAW-provided healthcare on May 14, though the Local 180 maintains the decision was a unilateral one on the part of CNHi.

In a post published to the Local 180’s Facebook page, union leadership noted the tactic was considered and attempted by other large manufacturers in recent years. “GM did the same thing during their strike and reversed course after the community backlash they received,” the post says. “John Deere never even considered this tactic.”

But the CNHi strike may be longer and harder for workers than last year’s UAW strike of Deere & Co., Despite superficial similarities—both Deere and CNHi are large manufacturers of agricultural equipment with UAW-represented workers in the same area of the Midwest—the CNHi strike is notably different in terms of leverage. Only three CNHi manufacturing locations are unionized of 13 U.S. plants. By comparison, last year’s Deere & Co. strike involved 14 different plants in several states, including some outside of Iowa and Wisconsin.

The Deere & Co. strike eventually ended after just over a month. According to The Journal Times, union officials at the CHNi strike have said this strike could last up to six months.

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