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Kohler, union far apart on new contract

KOHLER, Wis. (AP) — The union representing 2,100 Kohler Co. employees in Sheboygan County says the two sides are far apart on a new labor contract as a deadline approaches.

United Auto Workers Local 833 president Tim Tayloe says the economy has changed since union members accepted a concessionary contract five years ago that froze wages and raised health care costs. Tayloe says Kohler is doing better, the factories are busy and the area’s unemployment rate is lowest in the state. He says it’s time for Kohler to take care of its workforce.

The Journal Sentinel reports a Kohler spokesman, Todd Weber, says the company is committed to working with the union while balancing the desire to reinvest in its facilities. The current contract expires at midnight Saturday. The union says it won’t agree to any extensions.

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