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UAW AUTHORIZES WORKERS TO STRIKE AT FOUR ADDITIONAL CATERPILLAR PLANTS IN CONTRACT STRUGGLE

UAW AUTHORIZES WORKERS TO STRIKE AT FOUR ADDITIONAL CATERPILLAR PLANTS
 IN CONTRACT STRUGGLE
 DETROIT, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- UAW Secretary-Treasurer Bill Casstevens and the UAW-Caterpillar Central Bargaining Committee announced that the union has authorized a total of more than 1,800 UAW members to strike four additional Caterpillar facilities in Illinois.
 The union's action followed an announcement by Caterpillar management today of its attempt to start a back-to-work movement through a number of management threats, including the threat to hire permanent replacement workers.
 Authorized to join the strike are the Mapleton Foundry unit of UAW Local 974, covering approximately 500 UAW members; the Research Facility at Mossville, involving approximately 520 members of Local 974; the Chemical Products division, involving more than 250 Local 974 members; and all 550 members of UAW Local 2096 at the Caterpillar facilities in Pontiac, Ill.
 The strike authorizations are effective immediately and are to be implemented by the local unions as they determine in order to shut down operations at the four facilities in an orderly manner.
 The additional units expand the strike to a total of more than 12,600 UAW members in support of the UAW's contract struggle with the big manufacturer of construction, agriculture and heavy equipment.
 Casstevens, director of the UAW-Caterpillar Department, and the 18-member Central Bargaining Committee issued the following statement:
 "The latest strike-breaking efforts by top management simply confirmed our suspicions that their intent all along has been to try to break the workers' union at Caterpillar and to bypass the UAW workers' elected negotiating team.
 "UAW-Caterpillar members understand that their solidarity and unity will in time force the corporation to return to the bargaining table to negotiate the equitable settlement to which the members and their families are entitled, and which management has admitted it can afford.
 "The union bargaining team will maintain and increase our strong efforts to defend the workers against management's scores of takeaway demands, and to negotiate a settlement which the UAW Central Bargaining Committee will be able to recommend as meeting the needs of Caterpillar workers for equity and fairness. The UAW filed additional unfair labor practice charges against Caterpillar today with the National Labor Relations Board.
 "The local unions are advising members of the proper procedures to follow and of their economic and legal protections during the course of our struggle. The local unions are also advising laid-off members that if they are notified by management of a recall to work they may immediately participate in the strike and be entitled to full strike benefits."
 The struggle has been under way since an extension of the prior national agreement was terminated by the UAW at midnight, Nov. 3, 1991, and a total of approximately 2,400 UAW members struck at the Caterpillar plant in Decatur, Ill., represented by Local 751, and the SS Building unit of Local 974 in East Peoria.
 Caterpillar then locked out a total of 5,650 workers at facilities in Aurora and the Peoria area. The UAW authorized those workers to strike on Feb. 16, when management issued notices that it was canceling its lockout and inviting the workers to return, and those workers then joined the strike. On Feb. 21, the union authorized an additional 2,750 members to strike at an engine complex in Mossville, Ill.
 The UAW represents a total of more than 16,000 active and 2,400 laid-off workers at Caterpillar. Among those are members of additional units of Local 974; Local 145 at Aurora; Local 751; Local 2096; Local 786 at York, Pa.; Local 1415 at Denver; and Local 1989 at Memphis, Tenn.
 Negotiations with Caterpillar began on Sept. 28, 1991. The 1988-91 agreement was extended at Caterpillar while the UAW negotiated a pattern-setting new contract with Deere & Co., with no disruption of work. UAW members at Deere ratified their new three-year pact by an 87.5-percent margin on Oct. 13, 1991.
 -0- 4/1/92
 /CONTACT: Karl Mantyla of the UAW, 313-926-5291/
 (CAT) CO: United Auto Workers; Caterpillar Inc. ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:


SB-JG -- DE021 -- 4057 04/01/92 16:44 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1992
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