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CATERPILLAR INC. TO IMPLEMENT MOST OF REMAINING TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIRD AND FINAL CONTRACT OFFER TO THE UAW

 PEORIA, Ill., Nov. 20 ~PRNewswire~ -- Due to the ongoing impasse in its negotiations with the UAW, Caterpillar Inc. will implement most of the remaining terms and conditions of the company's third and final contract offer to the United Auto Workers, effective Dec. 1, the company announced today.
 Gerald S. Flaherty, group president, said Caterpillar is taking this action because "We need to move ahead with business -- with building products, with serving customers -- in order to build a secure future for all of us."
 With no break in the current negotiations deadlock appearing likely, Flaherty emphasized that the company remains willing and interested in negotiating a signed contract agreement with UAW leaders.
 "We have had only one objective throughout this long and difficult dispute: to negotiate an agreement that is fair for employees and allows Caterpillar to be competitive worldwide from a U.S. manufacturing base," Flaherty said.
 "By implementing nearly all of the terms and conditions of our third and final offer," he said, "we believe we are also helping to ease the uncertainty that employees have endured for more than a year while we have attempted to reach a new agreement with UAW leaders."
 In April, Caterpillar implemented many of the key terms and conditions of the third and final offer. Those provisions include higher wages; improved pensions; first-dollar health care; six-year, by-name job security; and a guarantee to keep plants open for six years. In September, Caterpillar increased the length of the proposed contract agreement to six years from three and offered additional wage and benefits improvements in those future years.
 Provisions of Caterpillar's proposed contract to be implemented starting Dec. 1 include:
 -- Alternative work schedules. Simply put, these are work schedules that are different from the usual eight hours per day, five days per week -- for example, 10 hours per day for four days. Employees who have opportunities to work alternative schedules will still receive overtime pay for hours in excess of those scheduled per day and per week.
 -- Some expansion of benefits. These include: higher rates of Medicare reimbursement starting in 1995; and routine mammograms for employees and dependents and increased reimbursement for orthodontia work effective Oct. 1, 1994.
 -- Limits on retiree health care benefits. Caterpillar will pay the increased costs of health care for retirees through 1999. After Jan. 1, 2000, Caterpillar will continue to pay the same per capita amount it paid in 1999. However, if costs rise above that level, retirees will pay a monthly premium. This provision applies to hourly employees who retire after Jan. 1, 1992. A similar provision applies to management and salaried employees who retire after Feb. 1, 1993.
 -- Changes in some health benefits. A few health benefits are being changed, including the number of dental X-rays that will be reimbursed and obstetrical coverage after medical plan eligibility stops.
 -- Welders. A retention bonus will be available to more than 700 Caterpillar welders.
 -- Pension boosts. Current Caterpillar retirees will see their pension checks increase in January 1993 and October 1994. Future Caterpillar retirees will see additional increases in October 1994 and 1995. This is in addition to the increases which were implemented in April.
 -- Paid holidays. Caterpillar employees continue to have 11 paid holidays each year, and with this action today, all holidays and vacation periods are listed through the end of the proposed contract in September 1997.
 -- Business units. Caterpillar has reorganized the basic structure of the company into decentralized business units. Some of the implemented language reflects this change.
 -- Representational structure. Caterpillar has not implemented its proposed changes regarding the union's representational structure. We have foregone these changes to avoid confusion and to refrain from interfering with the UAW in performing its traditional function.
 A few terms and conditions of the company's offer cannot be implemented because by their very nature they cannot be implemented by one party.
 Because it requires mutual agreement, a provision for arbitration has not been implemented. Caterpillar has, however, offered to arbitrate all cases that pertain to prior labor agreements and any discharges or separations occurring since the previous contract was terminated by the union. Surprisingly, UAW leaders so far have declined this offer and have refused to submit any of these disputes to arbitration.
 "We remain willing to sit down with UAW leaders and attempt to negotiate an agreement within the framework of our proposal," Flaherty said. "One thing that must happen for negotiations to be successful, however, will be for the UAW leadership to take a position by making a legitimate offer. To date, all we have heard is that they are willing to bargain, yet we do not have from them a proposal that abandons the outdated principle of so-called 'pattern' bargaining, makes sense for all Caterpillar employees, and allows the company to remain globally competitive."
 Soon, all UAW-represented employees will receive a booklet containing the company's entire proposal -- the implemented portions as well as the sections that have not been activated.
 "While there have been misrepresentations and distortions about our offer, employees will soon have an opportunity to examine all the details themselves. We believe that employees who review our offer will agree that it is fair and reasonable," Flaherty said.
 -0- 11~20~92
 ~CONTACT: Bill Lane of Caterpillar Corporate Public Affairs, 309-675-5813~


CO: Caterpillar Inc.; United Auto Workers ST: Illinois IN: SU:

KE -- DE025 -- 3510 11~20~92 16:03 EST
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Date:Nov 20, 1992
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