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Farm Equipment magazine reports:

In a May 3 phone interview with Ag Equipment Intelligence, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 807 President Nick Guernsey said he told his members to expect to be out of work for 3-6 months.

"I think what's going to get CNH Industrial back to the table is when they start losing money, and they'll probably start feeling it at 4 weeks. I've told my membership to expect CNHI to keep us out for 3-6 months," said Guernsey.

CNHI CEO Scott Wine stated in the company's 1Q22 earnings report May 3 that the company was willing to meet the union at the bargaining table "at any time."

Ag Equipment Intelligence sent the facts of Guernsey's following statements to CNH Industrial to verify their authenticity but did not receive a response.

Replacement Workers & Productivity. On May 2 at noon, around 1,200 CNHI workers represented by UAW walked out of the manufacturers' Burlington, Iowa, and Racine, Wis., factories after CNHI and UAW failed to reach an agreement on a new labor contract. Guernsey said as his members walked out, replacement workers walked in.

"They had replacement workers in town a week before the contract expired. So in my mind, this was a premeditated strategy," said Guernsey. "We have 440 members in our facility, so they're probably going to bring in about 1,000 people. Sometimes things struggled to get done in a perfect environment, and they're bringing in people who have never touched this stuff."

Guernsey said when UAW employees were working at the Burlington factory, their goal was to ramp up production from 26 to 30 tractor loader backhoes per day.

"I do know CNHI is paying new workers a much higher wage than what we were even asking for, along with bonuses and extra money for their salaried employees," said Guernsey.

What Halted Negotiations? As the president of one of the local unions represented in the contract, Guernsey was present during negotiations with CNHI and said the two parties "weren't making a lot of headway" when the union set a strike deadline the morning of May 2.

"We had a proposal ready Sunday night at about 9:45 PM. That meeting lasted maybe 5 minutes. Words were said by both sides that I'm not going to repeat," said Guernsey.

He said there were several issues at play when negotiations hit an impasse over the weekend, including CNHI union jobs paying less than CNHI's non-union factory jobs.

Guernsey said he was not able to disclose details of the union's proposed contract.

What Happens Next? Guernsey said the union will pay UAW workers $275 per week in strike pay if they perform their strike duties and will provide them with "a major medical plan with no copay." He says that extends to new hires that "signed a union card and chose to walk out the door with us."

During UAW workers' strike at Deere's factories last year, John Deere stated it would "continue providing healthcare for all our UAW-represented production and maintenance employees."

"At the end of the day, neither side wins on a strike. And the customer suffers," Guernsey said.

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