US Labor Secretary willing to help, if invited, to end CNH strike in Burlington

Washington- The US Secretary of Labor says that he’s been briefed about the ongoing labor dispute between CNH and the United Auto Workers, and Marty Walsh tells Radio Iowa that he’s willing to help.

“Sometimes both companies and unions reach out to me,” Walsh says. “That’s probably the best scenario when that happens because what I try to do is go and mediate the situation.”

On May 1st, United Auto Workers went on strike at the CNH plant in Burlington. The Union represents about 430 workers at the plant. Walsh, a former construction worker and union member who served two years as head of the Greater Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, was a part of the team that helped negotiate the deal which averted a nationwide railroad strike.

“But there’s been cases that I’ve worked into, nurses strikes around the country, that both sides have asked me to come in and try to resolve it and what I try to do with both sides is get them to talk at the table and stay at the table,” Walsh says. “I mean, you can’t solve a strike if one side’s not sitting down and talking to you.”

Walsh met with Iowa labor leaders on Monday to discuss federal tax breaks for green energy projects.