Striking Workers Get Holiday Help
Manitowoc, WI- The strike is now in week seven as Manitowoc Crane workers continue to hold out. But Creig Holschbach says he won't cross the picket line, even if it means fewer gifts this Christmas for his daughters. "Going through a lot of hard times, stretching a lot of budgets and stuff like that to keep everybody in the household happy," Holschbach said.
Craig and is wife are thankful union members are providing holiday cheer with presents and food to help striking families. Manitowoc Crane did not return calls seeking comment on negotiations, but the company responded to the strike with a full page newspaper advertisement Sunday. The ad defends the company’s role in the strike and blames union leadership for breaking off negotiations. The company says the new proposed contract would allow workers to choose whether to join the union and pay its dues. Union leaders say the company is trying to weaken the union. "This isn't only a fight for people here in Manitowoc, it's a fight for the middle class a fight to maintain our right to have a voice in the workplace,” said Ben Elizondo of the machinists’ union.
These boilermakers, meanwhile, say they'll continue to stand up for their union. It's the unions across the state, they say that are helping to put presents under the tree and smiles on these little girls' faces during tough times.