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Oshkosh Corp., UAW expected to resume contract talks


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Contract talks are expected to resume Tuesday at the Oshkosh Corporation, where the United Auto Workers say they’re preparing for a strike.

The union says it might call for a walkout if a new deal is not reached by midnight Friday.

It would affect 3,100 UAW members at the plants that make military vehicles – and it could also affect dozens of suppliers.

Company president Charles Szews says the company’s five-year offer reflects the billions of dollars in budget cuts planned for the Defense Department, which is the main customer of Oshkosh.

The firm is offering a total pay raise of 8 percent over five years, and a $2,000 lump sum if a contract deal is reached by Friday night.

But the union is not happy that health insurance premiums would nearly double, and temporary workers could be used totaling up to 10 percent of the workforce starting in 2013. The temps would work for up to six months – and they would not be used if regular employees are laid off and waiting to be recalled.

Still, union president Nick Nitschke says it’s a job security issue. They’re also concerned about working conditions in the Oshkosh plants, which have been running full-tilt to make vehicles for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.