From the beginning of May till the middle of August, the employees at the Joliet Caterpillar plant have been on strike for leverage in a deal that was being sought by Caterpillar. Over 750 workers decided to go on strike based on Caterpillar’s demand to freeze pay increases among other things. The pay freeze was set to affect nearly two-thirds of the factory workers for the duration of six years.
The major claim on the side of the workers is that Caterpillar has been chronicling record profits as it was asking for major concessions from its workers. The company has claimed that the factory’s top-tier workers earn substantially more than their peers in the marketplace. On average, the top-tier workers earn $26 per hour while the lower-tiers earn in the range of $12 to $19 per hour. In an effort to remain competitive, they were asking for these concessions.
As union members crossed the picket lines by the hundreds, those remaining on strike were faced with a tough decision; go back to work or picket with no guarantee that Caterpillar would soften its stance. They conceded to a variation of the pay freeze, higher health insurance costs, as well as allowing Caterpillar to re-assign jobs regardless of seniority for up to 90 days.
Contract disputes can be lengthy and may result in work stoppages or even lawsuits, which is why it is increasingly important to have a skilled legal team in place for any contract disputes that arise. Typical disputes need to be managed by an experienced hand according to the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as age discrimination laws. If you have a need for legal advice regarding contracts, contact an experience business lawyer in Schaumburg today.