Oshkosh Union Members Vote Yes To Contract Extension Discussions

Raquel Lamal

Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Oshkosh Union Members Vote Yes To Contract Extension Discussions

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Sep 10, 2013

 OSHKOSH, Wis.- An important vote for Oshkosh Corporation as Union Workers at Oshkosh Defense vote yes today to re-open contract negotiations.

Both the union and Oshkosh Corporation see this as a positive step forward in their relationship and their efforts to win a new contract.

Hundreds of people filed into the Oshkosh Convention Center to cast a vote that will have a big impact on their jobs.

"They want us to really think about it because it's our future," said Oshkosh Corp. union member Kevin Klebs of Fond du Lac.

Oshkosh Corporation's union chapter UAW-578 voting yes today to reopen contract extension talks with the company.  The issue has people going both ways.

"We've been talking with each other about this now since we received that letter from the company last week," said Klebs.

"I know I can't believe them, I don't know what they got up their sleeve, but it's certainly not for the benefit of the workers," said another UAW-578 member,  Don Forester, about the the contract extension talks.

Oshkosh Corp. is looking to win a new JLTV contract to build lighter Humvees for the military.  The company was saying they would take the work somewhere else if the union didn't agree to at least talk, but now both sides

 "We're always ready to sit back and listen and talk and obviously our membership has to give us the authorization on a yes or no to do so," said UAW-578 president, Joe Priesler.

This vote to continue negotiations will not affect the current contract already in place.  These discussions will involve a new contract that runs from 2016 to 2021.