"Not trying to intimidate:" Union releases names of Kohler workers who have crossed picket line

KOHLER -- More than a dozen Kohler Company workers have abandoned the strike -- returning to work. UAW Local 833 officials say the vast majority of its members are holding on. Union leaders released a flyer identifying those who crossed the picket line.

The striking workers are out on the picket line 24/7 -- rotating in six-hour shifts.

Union leaders say the decision to out workers who have left the strike isn't an act of intimidation.

Striking Kohler Company workers offered friendly gestures Tuesday, December 1st to drivers passing by -- but as this strike has entered its third week, some members have opted out -- prompting a less-than-friendly reaction. Flyers have been printed, bearing the names of 13 people accused of crossing the picket line.

"We`re not trying to intimidate them," Jim Brock, UAW Local 833 vice president said.

Brock says Local 833 wouldn't condone any retaliation against those workers.

Flyer issued by union officials with names of Kohler workers who have crossed the picket line

"We did want to have people aware some of their people they thought were part of their cause and their group to try to help each other are more thinking about themselves," Brock said.

The major sticking point in contract talks is the company's two-tier wage system.

Workers hired during the last five years start out making 65% of what their predecessors did.

The union wants those workers' wages to reach 100% after five years.

Kohler Company officials say that would force the company to ship those jobs out of Sheboygan County.

"I think that the majority of people that are out here now are standing strong," Jill Anzia, striking Kohler Company worker said.

On the picket line on Tuesday, those holding signs said they're encouraged by outside support.

Striking Kohler Company workers

"The middle class is shrinking -- if we don`t do something about it," Bob Slamka, who supports the striking Kohler Company workers said.

Kohler Company officials and union leaders have yet to schedule another meeting.

"Whenever the company`s ready to go, we`re ready," Brock said.

Union leaders say members are getting $200 per week in strike pay.

Brock says he understands that can put workers in a bind as we approach the holidays -- but he says it's a sacrifice for the future.

Kohler Company officials did not respond to messages for comment from FOX6 News Tuesday.