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Caterpillar industrial dispute: Union takes pay protest to investors in London

Larne workers have taken their fight to London after rejecting a two-year pay proposal amid fears of the introduction of compulsory overtime.

Trade union Unite has told Caterpillar investors that they can’t “wash their hands” of the company’s alleged “mistreatment of workers in Northern Ireland”.

The warning shot came after Unite took the first in a series of protests to Caterpillar’s investors to the capital.

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Unite members are now into a third month of strikes at Caterpillar sites in Larne and Springvale, Belfast, having rejected the company’s pay proposals which the union says are “a real terms pay cut of three per cent”. Read more

Unite members form a picket at the company's west Belfast plant in April. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The trade union has also stated that the company wants to introduce compulsory overtime.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Caterpillar insists on a pay cut for its workers while demanding they be at their beck and call for compulsory overtime. Caterpillar’s big City investors cannot wash their hands of how this company is mistreating these workers.

“Our protests will continue until they stand by their fine words with concrete action. And this strike will continue with the full support of Unite until Caterpillar behaves with decency towards its workforce.”

A spokesperson for Caterpillar said: “Caterpillar negotiated in good faith with Unite to reach a fair and balanced final agreement which would include a 9% wage increase effective April 1, 2022. The company believes industrial action should be avoided but is committed to maintaining operations at its facilities throughout the duration of the action. Read more

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