Aug 17 Caterpillar Inc, the world's
largest maker of construction equipment, said Friday about 800
workers at a plant in Joliet, Illinois, have ratified a six-year
labor agreement, ending a nearly four-month strike.
Caterpillar said it more than tripled the bonus offered to
union members for ratifying the deal, to $3,100 per member.
Striking workers will begin returning to work next week, company
spokesman Rusty Dunn said.
The plant, which makes hydraulic components and other
systems for Caterpillar loaders and mining trucks, was staffed
by office workers and temporary labor during the strike. The
company said it maintained production levels.
The vote margin could not immediately be confirmed. A
representative of the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers did not immediately return a call seeking
The strike began on May 1, when the union rejected an
initial contract that would have included a $5,000 ratification
payment for each union member and participation in the company's
annual bonus plan.
Union members rejected the deal because it did not include
sufficient pay raises and called for higher health-care costs,
the union said at the time.
The tentative contract announced earlier this week offers
workers hired after 2005 an automatic 3 percent raise annually
for the life of the contract. Those hired before 2005 will not
receive a raise, Caterpillar has said, because they already
receive above-market wages.
Caterpillar shares were up 1.5 percent to $89.90. The
company earlier reported an increase in global dealer sales.