Kohler Plant Strike Reaches 100th Day

March 20,2007 - Posted at 6:13 p.m. CDT

SEARCY-For more than three months a group of union workers have been picketing the Kholer sink plant in Searcy.

Tuesday they marked their 100th day on the street.

Union workers say they never really thought the strike would go this long, but they do say whether it be 100 days, or several more months, they have to stand up for what they want.

Step by step they walked the picket line, outside the gates of a place they once called work.

"I've been there 24, almost 25 years now, and I don't want to have to start allover, but there comes a time when you have to stand up for some principles, and what the company offered to us was fully unacceptable to a working man," said Kevin Jones.

Talks between the local union and Kohler have now come to a dead silence.

All that remains are the messages written across their picket boards.

"It was so ridiculous and so unfair that you finally have to stand up for what you know is right," said Jones.

The Kohler plant strike began on December 9th after negotiations with the company fell through, and strikers say on this 100th day they're not giving up and they will continue to strike until their needs are met.

"We're holding strong. Nobody from the Union has crossed the line. We've all been strong. We've been hanging in there together, because all of us see it. It's a principle. It's something we are willing to stand up for," said Jones.

Whether they were standing or sitting, picketers were determined to get their point across.

"Doing what we have to do, just hoping and praying that things will work out," said Jones.

"It's got to be agreeable to everyone. It's got to be something we can live with," said Wayne Epperson.

For those who have spent most of their life at Kohler, they simply want to meet the company in the middle, and stop looking through the gates.

"I'm hoping we can come to a just and fair agreement on both sides, so that we can go back to work, so we can supply the sinks they need. We are all skilled workers. It takes a lot to do what we do in there and we're not afraid of the work," said Jones.

We attempted to talk to Kohler, but plant officials were unable to comment.

Meanwhile, Searcy police said the strike has been very peaceful and respectful of the community.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.