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Wisconsin union members rally over USPS vehicle contract

February 27, 2022 GMT

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Union workers rallied outside Oshkosh Corp. Saturday over a plan to build the United State Postal Service’s next generation delivery vehicle in South Carolina instead of Wisconsin.

Hundreds of members held up signs demanding that the company reverse a decision made last summer regarding production. Local 578 Union President Bob Lynk called it an attack against union labor.

“If Oshkosh leaves here, Oshkosh can be done. We’re the biggest employer here,” says Lynk. “But we’re dwindling. We went from 3,100 plus members 10 years ago to 1,600.”

Company officials said the site in Spartanburg, South Carolina will be 900,000 square feet, which is more than twice the size of any facility in Oshkosh. In addition, officials said the contract will not take away jobs from Oshkosh and 100 technical jobs are being added.

Union leaders disputed the notion that Wisconsin did not meet size requirements.

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“We do have the capacity. We do have the space, and if they need to hire we can find workers here in this great state,” said Tim Jacobson, chief union steward.

Said Lynk, “Why is it under one roof? Because all of those jobs would have to be unionized. Our warehouse is in Greenville. It can be here in Oshkosh.”

Production on the postal vehicles is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023.