Elkhart Products begins making new hires, as employee strike continues

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Employees of Elkhart Products Corporation have been on strike for three weeks now.

EPC has made new employee contracts that will require them to pay a portion of the company’s new insurance premium. A change that will cost employees approximately $70 a week.

“We started negotiations on the premise that we would pay a portion of the insurance, but we want raises to cover that cost,” says David Gault, the Union Rep for Hoosier Local 2018.

Union members say that due to EPC still not presenting a contract employees find fair, the strike continues. And so do negotiations.

“We haven’t heard back from the company yet, but what they did do was post hiring on indeed for a machine set up person with a thousand dollar signing bonus, and a production worker with a thousand-dollar sign on bonus,” Gault says.

Employees that have worked for EPC for years and were essential workers that helped the company during the pandemic, say it’s a slap in the face.

“If they can give out a thousand-dollar bonus to these new people, why can’t they give us a better raise to where we can pay our insurance and not have to struggle,” says Michele Crise, an EPC employee on strike.

And many feel the same way, with Crise saying that at least twenty members have already found new jobs.

“They won’t come off of any money for us, but they’ll give people that haven’t ever even been here a thousand-dollar sign on bonus,” says EPC employee on strike, Justin Harness.

Employees on strike tell 16 News Now that they do love working for EPC and would really like to be able to continue working there but say they don’t want to feel unappreciated.

“It definitely hurts to see people going in there when you know, we should be in there doing what we do best,” Crise says.

If you’d like to support the Union Members of Hoosier Local 2018, they will be having a fish fry fundraiser on October 15th from noon to 7 p.m., at the Osceola American Legion.