Caterpillar strike Larne and Belfast: two more months of action, says Unite

Eight more weeks of strike are in store at Larne Caterpillar plant as Unite steps up the ongoing pay fight, the union has said.

Workers are entering their eighth week of industrial action at Caterpillar’s sites in Larne and Springvale and Unite has given notice of two months more to come.

General secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, said: “This is a hugely profitable company which rewards its shareholders and CEO remarkably while offering brutal wage cuts for its workers. Caterpillar can well afford to give these workers a fair pay increase and this strike will step up until they do exactly that. Unite’s members have their union’s full support in this fight for a fair deal.”

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Unite claims the strike has impacted production at both the US manufacturing giant’s Northern Ireland sites.

Employees and Unite union members on an earlier picket at Caterpillar's west Belfast plant. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.

Regional officer George Brash added: “With a cost of living crisis, Caterpillar must do the responsible thing and make a genuine pay offer to protect our members’ livelihoods.”

In response, a spokesperson for the company 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.”

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Unite strike Larne and Belfast: Caterpillar says offer ‘still on the table’