2023 Central Labor Agreement

Cat Product Collage
Cat Product Collage

2023 Central Labor Agreement

Our Central Labor Agreement expires March 1, 2023. We aim to reach an agreement that positions Caterpillar, our facilities and our employees to compete and succeed long into the future. Here’s what to expect as we prepare for and enter into the negotiations process.

Updates

February 3, 2023 – Subcommittee negotiations between the company and the union occurred this week and will continue next week. The company and union also had a Main Table meeting on Thursday where the union passed its next economic proposal. These discussions are also expected to continue next week. 

January 27, 2023 – Main table negotiations began January 23, with the company and union exchanging Central Agreement labor contract and benefits proposals. This included the opportunity for both parties to ask for clarifications and questions regarding each other’s proposals. Subcommittee negotiations start on Monday, January 30.  

January 20, 2023: Negotiations on the four local agreements between Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers concluded on January 20. Central bargaining will begin the week of January 23.

January 13, 2023: Negotiations on the four local agreements are occurring this week and will continue next week between Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers with the goal of concluding those negotiations by January 20. The teams will return for Central bargaining the week of January 23.

January 9, 2023: On January 5, Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers opened negotiations for a new labor agreement. The current agreement expires on March 1, 2023. The parties will begin negotiations on the four local agreements on January 9, and aim to conclude those negotiations by January 20. We will then begin negotiations on the Central Agreement the week of January 23. We will bargain in good faith and aim to reach an agreement that positions Caterpillar, our facilities and our employees to compete and succeed into the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your labor negotiation questions.

We expect formal negotiations to begin in December 2022 or January 2023.

Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers come together to identify issues, share perspectives and propose solutions with a goal of reaching an agreement that benefits both parties and positions our facilities for success. If an agreement is not reached, the UAW may call for a strike until a new agreement is reached. For more information, see the Negotiations Process fact sheet. 

The facilities within the Central Labor Agreement include Decatur, East Peoria, Mapleton, Mossville, Morton, Pontiac and York, PA.

Caterpillar’s long-standing commitment to our customers and our business requires that we be prepared to continue operations at our facilities in the face of any business interruption, including a work stoppage. We are committed to bargaining in good faith and reaching an agreement that positions these facilities and our employees for success long-term. However, we must be prepared should we not be able to reach a competitive agreement, which is why having a successful contingency plan is critical. See the Contingency Planning fact sheet for more information.

As always, we’ll bargain in good faith and hope to avoid a work stoppage, but that is still a possibility that requires planning. See the Contingency Planning fact sheet for more information.

Caterpillar and the United Auto Workers negotiate a new contract every 6 years.

Our production employees have a right to strike, but they also have an equal right not to participate in a strike. Through our contingency plan, we will be open for business. Any employee who wants to continue to work may do so.  

You will not receive any regular or overtime pay from Caterpillar. In addition, your time on strike will impact your future vacation pay, you will not receive 401k match, and your healthcare may be terminated. You may receive a small strike stipend from the UAW if you meet their eligibility requirements. Please see the Understanding Strikes fact sheet for more information.

During a strike, Caterpillar has the right to terminate healthcare benefits. Please see the Understanding Strikes fact sheet for more information on how health care coverage and other aspects of your Total Rewards package are impacted.

Safety is our top priority. Through our contingency planning, we have worked to ensure that our Caterpillar and contract employees are able to perform these roles safely. 

Supplemental employees who are union members in good standing are eligible to vote in the same manner as full time employees.

Yes. Our supplemental employees have the same right to strike as our other production employees. All employees also have an equal right not to participate in a strike. Through our contingency plan, we will be open for business. Any employee who wants to continue to work may do so. 

Yes.  However, those taxes will not be withheld from your strike pay. According to the UAW’s website, “After $600 in a given year, the UAW will issue an IRS Form 1099-MISC.”

No.  All employees have a right to participate in a strike.  All employees also have an equal right not to participate in a strike.  Caterpillar cannot discipline or terminate an employee for participating in a strike.  The UAW also cannot require Caterpillar to terminate an employee for exercising their right to continue working during a strike. 

In 2004, employees in these Central Agreement facilities were well above the market in both wages and benefits.  As a result, these facilities were not competitive and were at risk of continuing to lose work.  To address this problem, the UAW and Caterpillar negotiated a market-competitive wage rate for future new hires as part of the 2004-05 Central Agreement.  Employees at the above market wage rates were allowed to stay on those wage rates until which time the market-competitive wage rates caught up.  Since that time, the market-competitive rates have caught up for 97% of employees, however there remains a small group of employees earning the above market wage rates.

Our intention is to bargain in good faith with the UAW.  Part of bargaining in good faith is refraining from discussing Caterpillar or UAW proposals until after we have had an opportunity to discuss them directly with the UAW.  Caterpillar may choose to provide updates on the status of proposals later in the process, but only after we have first discussed those proposals directly with the UAW.

The scheduling of a strike authorization vote is a routine procedure often conducted by unions during contract negotiations. It does not mean there will be a strike. The vote provides the union with the authorization to call a strike if they feel that is necessary.

No. If the labor agreement expires and the union elects to call for a strike, all UAW represented employees have a legally protected right to participate in that strike. (Note: Morton and York are not able to strike on March 1, as the labor agreement does not expire for those facilities on March 1). Employees also have an equal legally protected right NOT to participate in that strike. We will continue operations through our contingency plan and will be open for business. That is a personal decision for each of you to make.  If you elect to exercise the right to work during a strike, the union may revoke your membership and/or attempt to fine you. Employees electing to work during a strike may elect to resign their membership to avoid such fines. When the strike concludes and a new labor agreement is in place, under current contract language, all employees must maintain union membership.  However, under that language, the union must offer membership to you on the same terms as other members. Should they deny you membership for any reason other than paying dues, you may continue to work at Caterpillar (see Section 3.1 Central Agreement). Again, to be clear, employees have a legally protected right to strike. They also have an equal legally protected right not to strike. That is your decision alone to make. You cannot be terminated by Caterpillar for participating in a strike. Nor can your employment be blocked by the UAW for electing to work during a strike. 

No. Employees cannot strike while the labor agreement is in effect. For all facilities except Morton and York, the labor agreement expires on March 1. However, the labor agreement remains in effect for Morton and York after March 1. That includes the no strike provision. The agreement does not expire for Morton and York until 60 days after the next Central Agreement is ratified (see Section 19.1).

negotiations timeline
of
negotiations timeline

Caterpillar in the Community

The Peoria-Area Community Relations team supports local groups that make our community great. Each year, we work together with more than 30 organizations, taking special consideration for those that have the greatest impact on our employees and their families, and those who are strongly aligned with our Values In Action and our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Caterpillar is proud to be a strong partner for the organizations that matter most to our employees.