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Caterpillar NI workers to continue strike action for two more months

Caterpillar NI workers to continue strike action for two more months #Caterpillar #workers #continue #strike #action #months Welcome to RKM Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Workers at the Springvale, Belfast and Larne production sites of generator maker Caterpillar are to continue strike action for another two months, Unite the Union has confirmed.

he union said the strike would continue to “step up” until the company “gives these workers a fair pay increase”.

The protracted dispute centres around a rejected pay deal, with action already having lasted eight weeks.

Last month Caterpillar told the Belfast Telegraph they had “negotiated in good faith” with the union over a 9% wage increase effective April 1, 2022.

They said despite the action at the plants they were “committed to maintaining operations at its facilities throughout the duration of the action.”

The US-based company reported operating profits in Northern Ireland of just over £7m last year, on turnover of £439m in 2020. This compares to a loss of £13.6m in 2019, though that included a one-off £21.7m impairment charge, the write down of the value of a fixed asset.

The firm had also set aside more than £20m in redundancy costs last year as it continued to drastically scale back operations at its manufacturing facility in Larne.

Caterpillar in Northern Ireland previously said up to 700 people would be made redundant from their Co Antrim facility under what it described as a restructuring away from manufacturing, with Unite union then describing the job losses as “devastating news” for the Caterpillar workforce.

Unite regional officer George Brash said: “Caterpillar’s refusal to engage in negotiations – despite twice being requested to do so by the Labour Relations Agency over the past eight weeks – shows no respect for its workers.

“As such, they leave them no alternative but to confirm the extension of their strike action by a further eight weeks.

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

Caterpillar NI has been contacted for a response.

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