An estimated 1,000 people showed up in the parking lot of Manitowoc’s Municipal baseball field Saturday afternoon for a solidarity rally for striking machinists at Manitowoc Cranes.
One of those speaking to the crowd was Phil Gruber, Midwest’s general vice president of the machinists union. He says if the company’s “union busting” is successful it will spread across Wisconsin.
AUDIO: Gruber (:26)
Mahlon Mitchell, state president of the firefighters association, says the gathering shows “the spirit is not dead,” referring to the massive Madison protests in February which have “carried across the state.”
Phil Neuenfeldt of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO says protective collective bargaining and organizing is a way to have “democracy and shared prosperity.”
Following the rally many of those in attendance marched with signs in hand to Manitowoc Cranes approximately six blocks away to support machinists who’ve been on the picket line for four weeks.
The company’s proposed contract allows workers to opt out of being a union member.