A number of union employees at the Manitowoc crane plant in Manitowoc Wisconsin walked out on strike on Monday. The strike affects up to 200 employees who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). 600 other employees and possibly some of the IAM members, continued to work as normal. The company said that it has activated a contingency plan to keep the plant running with limited disruptions. The union, which is currently in discussions over a new contact, after the existing one expired at the start of the month, cited a last-minute proposal from the company as a key reason for an overwhelming vote to reject the contract and authorise a strike. Union representative Benito Elizondo said: “While there was agreement on many issues, the company proposed new language toward the end of the negotiations that was absolutely unacceptable. The company proposed eliminating long-standing contract language requiring any employee who benefits from negotiated wages and benefits to become a member of the union that negotiated those benefits.” In the meantime a further 150 employees have been told that they may be laid off on Friday due to a knock-on effect of the IAM strike. Vertikal Comment Situations such as this are delicate and we ought possibly to avoid commenting, although we understand that negotiations on a new four year contract were going well and that this strike is not about employee terms and conditions, but all about union concern to try and lock employees into membership.