Union Pickets Outside Master Lock Milwaukee Headquarters


A Wisconsin factory visited by President Barack Obama last year is the location of a sidewalk protest today.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is holding an informational picket outside the Master Lock Company in Milwaukee. UAW local president Michael Bink says the firm wants additional concessions in a proposed new labor contract. But Bink says concessions have gone on long enough.

“We’ve done many things to keep this plant here in Milwaukee. That started in 1997 with givebacks, and there’s been some concessionary agreements up until this point. During this agreement, we thought we would finally be past that. Each of the last five years of our labor agreement, the company has made more profit, year after year.”

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Bink says about 350 UAW members at Master Lock are working without a contract, while both sides meet with a federal mediator. Master Lock says it is asking for the union’s help in addressing some longstanding retiree health care benefits.

President Obama visited the Milwaukee factory last year to highlight some jobs brought back from China, and the firm’s promises to bring back more positions.