Strike talk heating up as Caterpillar and UAW prepare for contract negotiations

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 9:15 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - The union representing Caterpillar workers is preparing members for a possible strike as contract negotiations are set to begin.

United Auto Workers Local 974 sent a letter this week to union members indicating talks will start soon, and the union said it has set a strike authorization vote for Jan. 27 in case the company and union bargainers can’t reach a tentative agreement.

“A strike authorization does not mean a strike will happen,” the union said in the letter.

The UAW will also be distributing to its members red “Will Strike If Provoked” t-shirts.

The current contract with Caterpillar expires this spring. It follows recent, similar negotiations with John Deere in which the union went on strike, eventually receiving raises and ratification bonuses of several thousand dollars.

UAW Local 974 said in the letter it represents about 3,600 members, compared to 6,200 members in 2005.