CEO top line is £19.7 million, shareholders have a £4 billion bonanza but workers offered a brutal pay cut as well as forced labour through compulsory overtime.
US construction giant Caterpillar faces two more months of strike action as members of Unite the union continue to fight for a fair pay rise from their super-rich employer. The workers are also facing the threat of forced labour as they are being asked to agree to compulsory overtime.
Inflation is running at 11.1% so Caterpillar’s current pay offer – well below inflation – is in real terms a massive pay cut.
Last year, Caterpillar cleared £5.6 billion in profits. It gave a £4 billion of that in a bonanza in shareholders dividends and share buybacks. Meanwhile CEO, James Umpleby III, took received £19.7 million in what’s called ‘salary and benefits’.
General secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, said: “This is a hugely profitable company which rewards its shareholders and CEO remarkably while offering brutal wage cuts for its workers.
“Caterpillar can well afford to give these workers a fair pay increase and this strike will step up until they do exactly that. Unite’s members have their union’s full support in this fight for a fair deal.”
Workers are entering their eighth week of strike action at Caterpillar’s sites in Larne and Springvale, and Unite has given notice of eight weeks more to come.
Caterpillar management’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer to end the strike has hugely impacted production at both Northern Ireland sites.
Regional officer George Brash challenged Caterpillar on its refusal to negotiate: “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.”