43 Members of Ashland's Local 621 On Strike

By KBJR News 1

April 28, 2012 Updated Apr 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM CST

Ashland, WI 43 members of Ashland's local 621 union have been on strike for about one month.

"This is a small community. It doesn't just affect the business. It doesn't just affect the employees. It affects this whole community, and any time you have a work stoppage like this it has a lot of ripple effects", commented Union Representative Marty St. Peters.

The reason for the strike came from expired contract negotiations between Ashland Industries, and the 621.

"Well we had negotiations about four weeks ago; the contract was set to expire. We just couldn't come to an agreement between us and the company", said St. Peters.

"Ultimately I just don't understand why we're in this position business was good...had steel coming in one end and product coming out the other end and it just stopped and I don't understand where the company is coming from", said one of the workers on strike Steven Geiger.

"The main issue is union security. These members want to be union. Their proud to be union", commented St. Peters.

"We've got to push back at every opportunity that their trying to push it forward, because it is about protecting workers rights... you let them take an inch and it's only going to go further from there", said community member Kelly Westlund who is one of many that showed up to show their support.

At this moment all 43 workers say they can only hope for future contract negotiations to go smoothly, so they can return to work.

"As of right now there are no resolutions that have come to be so, were just really hoping that this event will inspire the company to want to sit down again and come to some kind of agreement so we can be back to business as usual", said Geiger.

"We're looking forward to getting back to the table. Working out a deal and getting back to work, and letting these guys do what they do best and that's putting out a great product", said St. Peters.

Senator Bob Jauch was on hand to make a speech at today's rally.

Written and posted by Shawn Frost.
sfrost@northlandsnewscenter.com