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Trane in La Crosse

Nearly 500 workers were ready to strike Saturday evening, hours before their contract with Trane Co. was set to expire. 

Nearly 500 Trane Co. production workers in La Crosse went on strike after a rejecting a contract offer from the maker of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

Members of Lodges 21 and 1115 of District 66 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted down a contract offer Saturday as their current deal Ingersoll Rand-owned Trane was set to expire at midnight.

Neil Kamrowski, the union’s directing business representative, said that further negotiations are scheduled. Kamrowski sounded hopeful that an agreement could be reached soon but declined to discuss the timing of new negotiations or specifics about wages and benefits being discussed.

Kamrowski said Lodge 21 represents 460 to 470 production and maintenance workers, while Lodge 1115 represents more than a dozen tool and die makers at Trane’s La Crosse plants.

According to a second-shift worker at Plant 7, who spoke on condition he not be named for fear of retaliation, workers at the Ingersoll Rand-owned La Crosse operations had qualms over both wage and benefit aspects of Trane’s offer, and workers planned to rotate picket lines among Trane’s now-idled plants.

“It’s an awesome job,” he told the Tribune, “but we have to make sure we’re getting paid fairly.”

Trane Co. was incorporated in 1913 by Reuben Trane, whose father, James Trane, established a plumbing shop in La Crosse in 1885 and invented a head system he began manufacturing with his engineer son in 1910. By the 1980s, the company employed more than 4,000 people in La Crosse and was acquired by American Standard Cos. in 1984.

American Standard changed the name back to Trane in 2007, about a year before Ingersoll Rand completed a $10 billion acquisition of the company. Trane employs almost 30,000 people worldwide and has manufacturing plants in more than two dozen countries.


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Local news editor

(8) comments

GrandpaS

Leah Vukmir said in a commercial that she stood with Gov. Walker "when we busted the union bosses." Kiss my vote good bye. She also says she'll be a solid backer of President Trump, while one of the commercials against her says, "If you think Vukmir will be a supporter of Trump, the joke's on you." Actually, that would b e a reason to vote FOR her. But I won't. LOL. Good night, Leah.

GrandpaS

One of the Trane union troops said on TV that many of those assembly workers work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. That's ridiculous, unless you have no spouse, no kids, no life, no interest in anything and are content with doing nothing but working and sleeping 50 weeks per year. Seriously? That's inhumane. They're employees, not properties that you own. If I worked in that situation, I'd be enthusiastically on that picket line with them, right now. No doubt. Hope they come up with an equally beneficial contract. Wanna know the truth? I am proud to see this union standing up with and for it's members to get something fixed. Up yours, Walker, Schimmel and Vukmir. Americans should have the right to negotiate for their wages. If the company is making good money, ALL employees have the right to benefit from that, not just the fat cats on top. I'd love to see those unions come back, as long as they leave greed and excessive demands at home.

The Mouse of Death

[angry][angry]It would behoove the workers to accept more hours at lower wages with worse working conditions because Donald Mussolini made the Tranes run on time. We are bemezzled indeed by the unions who are the communists and the socialists and the Democrats who don't do as they are told like the Melania from the Moscow.

Cassandra2

James Trane "invented a head system"? Who's editing this paper today?

Veridic

Head is an engineering term that means pressure or water level.

Cassandra2

Thank you. If only the article had been clear.

Rick Czeczok

You're the one who call's them out and you have no idea what you're talking about? WOW take your med's Casey, the doctor says it's time for your bath.

Cassandra2

Zerocock, you'll note that I thanked Veridic above for making clear what the paper had not. You should be spending your time reading your Russian/English dictionary instead of stalking me.

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