Caterpillar and the union reach a tentative agreement, preventing a walkout.
(Reuters) A tentative six-year labour agreement between Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), a manufacturer of construction machinery, and the union that represents workers at its four facilities was announced on Wednesday, potentially staving off a strike.
As soon as the current six-year labour agreement expires, union workers have vowed to walk out in protest of lower pay, better safety regulations, and worse healthcare benefits.
Before the contract expires on March 1st, the United Auto Workers (UAW) claimed that its negotiating team had struck a tentative agreement.
The UAW issued a statement with no additional information, saying only that “members at four locals in Illinois and Pennsylvania will review the tentative agreement and vote at forthcoming ratification meetings.”
According to a statement from Caterpillar, the UAW will shortly schedule a vote on ratification.
The business added, “The current agreement will be extended until the voting is concluded.”
The agreement includes about 7,000 union workers at three manufacturing facilities in central Illinois and a parts and distribution facility in York, Pennsylvania, who are represented by the UAW.
Labor shortages combined with high demand have increased expenses for manufacturers of heavy equipment like Caterpillar and rival Deere (NYSE:DE) & Co. and given unions the upper hand in contract negotiations.
According to the Facebook page of one local union, the four Caterpillar facilities’ union employees overwhelmingly decided to approve a strike in January.
The UAW and the manufacturer, located in Irving, Texas, started contract talks on January 5, according to the company.
More than 100,000 people work for Caterpillar globally. The strike at two Northern Ireland plants in 2021 lasted 14 months before a deal was reached. May 2012 saw the company’s most recent walkout in the United States.