North / South America
Caterpillar says production on pace despite Joliet strike
Jun, 04 2012
(Illinois) -- Caterpillar Inc. officials say they will stand strong and continue to deliver hydraulic parts to customers, even as a strike by 780 union machinists at the company’s Joliet plant enters its second month.
Officials from the Peoria-based company invited media in for a tour of the 1.3 million-square-foot plant on Friday morning to show it was well-staffed with workers. They said the plant is exceeding pre-strike production levels with a contingent workforce of about 700.
“Joliet is here, it’s running and it’s going to continue to run,” said Tim Flaherty, the general manager for advanced components and systems division.
About 780 machinists went on strike May 1 after their previous seven-year contract expired. They rejected a six-year contract offer from the company on April 29 and they voted 504-116 against a revised contract proposal on Wednesday.
Flaherty said it was important to let the workers know about the contingency workforce so they could make informed decisions going forward.
“We understand they have a right to strike,” Flaherty said. “We appreciate them as people, we appreciate them as workers, and that’s why we want them to know what’s going on (in the plant).”
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