[Marxism] Ratification of Union’s Deal With Caterpillar May Face Difficulties

Brandon Frey freybj at gmail.com
Thu Aug 16 11:37:50 MDT 2012

'But the settlement may face difficulties in the ratification vote on
Friday. Top officials in the striking local — upset that the deal contained
nearly all the far-reaching concessions Caterpillar had sought — said they
would urge members to reject the deal, which was negotiated not by the
local but at the district level.

The dispute — which involved a company known for setting an example for
corporate America in its tough bargaining and a union known for resisting
givebacks — has become a test case in American labor relations. Many
workplace experts said Caterpillar was trying to pioneer territory by
demanding major concessions, including a wage and pension freeze, even when
its business was booming.
The tentative settlement, union negotiators said, bows to Caterpillar’s
demand for a six-year wage freeze for the top tier of workers, hired before
May 2005. For the lower-paid tier of workers, hired after that date, the
deal calls for one raise during the six years — 3 percent at the end of
this year. The company’s previous offer did not promise any raise for that


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