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Kohler Strikers Plan Large Weekend Protest

Walkout Approaching One-Week Mark


Supporters of the labor walkout at Kohler Co. are expected to join strikers at a rally Saturday near the company headquarters.

About 2,000 members of United Auto Workers Local 833 have been on strike all week. The local is urging other labor groups and former union members join a mass picketing near the location of Kohler’s annual holiday market.

Democratic State Rep. Tod Ohnstad of Kenosha is a former UAW member. He said he’ll take part in the protest because he wants to help the strikers end a two-tier wage system that pays newer workers about $10 an hour less than longtime Kohler employees.

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“Many people working at industrial sites doing work that historically has been performed at living wage rates, are now working for less than $15, so this is an important strike,” said Ohnstad.

Kohler says the proposed contract the union rejected last Sunday would have raised wages for workers in both pay groups. The company said it would be very disappointed if Saturday’s rally affected the patrons and vendors at the holiday market.