Kohler, union reach agreement

The Kohler Co. and United Auto Workers 833 have reached a tentative contract agreement after a four-week-plus strike by the workers.

The four-year labor contract was announced by the company and the union Tuesday night. A ratification vote by the union was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Plymouth High School and about 2,000 workers would return to the job Thursday if the pact is ratified.

According to a press release from the Kohler Co. announcing the agreement, the contract features increased wages and benefits in all four years of the agreement.

“We worked very hard to reach an agreement that addresses all of the key areas crucial to the future of our members,” UAW Local 833 President Tim Tayloe said in the press release. “The agreement signifi- cantly brings one tier associate pay closer to the other, while also providing substantial wage increases in each year of the contract. All benefits have been enhanced and the modifications to the healthcare plans have reduced the potential for increased out-of-pocket costs to our membership.”

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the contributions of our associates and positions our local, Wisconsin operations to be more competitive in the future,” Kohler Co. President and Chief Executive Officer David Kohler said. “The common ground that we share is more important than any differences we may have – and this agreement reflects that.”

Workers went on strike Nov. 15 after overwhelmingly rejecting what the company had called its “last, best and final contract offer.”

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