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Oshkosh Defense threatens to move work if union contract isn't extended


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Oshkosh Defense has sent a letter to union workers saying the company may move work out of state if a contract extension is not reached. 

The United Auto Workers Local 578 is set to vote on reopening talks on Tuesday.

A month’s worth of talks ended in July with no agreement on extending their current contract by another five years until 2021. 

The company says they must have a contract extension in place by the end of September. 

Oshkosh is in the process of bidding for a new $13 billion contract to build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which would replace the Humvee. The company needs to shore up labor costs and revamp the health plan to gain a completive edge over two other bidders. 

Oshkosh points out that Lockheed Martin plans to build the JLTV in Texas, where they would have a significant labor cost structure advantage.

In the letter, Oshkosh Defense says it will do what is necessary to win JLTV program to sustain its defense business.  

A company spokesperson tells FOX 11 the letter is not a threat to the union, but a reminder to employees of the importance of winning the contract.