Forty-three members of the International Association of Machinists union began a strike April 1 when Ashland Industries wanted concessions. The company wanted to make newly hired workers fully pay health insurance for their families and be able to opt out of joining the union.
The company ended up hiring a dozen replacement workers during the strike, and another 10 or so union members crossed the picket line. Ashland Industries Chief Financial Officer Bob Eder says they weren’t inspired by Governor Walker’s legislation to end most public employee collective bargaining and force them to vote for unionization every year. “I wouldn’t say that. This is something we’ve always thought about, it’s just we’ve never chosen to tackle it in the past.”