Marty Walsh (Labor Dept photo)

The U.S. Secretary of Labor says he’s been briefed about the long running strike at a Burlington factory that makes farm equipment and Marty Walsh says he’s willing to help in any way he can.

“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 1, United Auto Workers went on strike at the CNH plant in Burlington where Case IH and New Holland equipment is made. The union represents about 430 workers at the plant.

Walsh is a former construction worker and union member who served two years as head of the Greater Boston Building and Construction Trades Council for two years. He was part of the team at the White House that helped broker the deal to avert a nationwide railroad strike last month.

“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 is meeting with Iowa labor leaders this morning to discuss federal tax breaks available for so-called green energy projects like large solar arrays, wind power storage and carbon capture pipelines.

Radio Iowa