Understanding Strikes

Strikes impact everyone – especially our production workers. It’s important for you to understand the risks and impacts to you should a work stoppage or strike occur.

It's Your Decision

It is your lawful right to choose to join a strike or come to work. All UAW-represented employees have the right to participate in a strike and have an equal right to not participate and continue to work. Through our contingency plan, we will be open for those employees who wish to work. The decision is yours to make, and Caterpillar will not interfere with your decision.

  • If you choose to cross the picket line while remaining a member of the union, you are subject to its bylaws and internal procedures. The UAW may seek to fine you for exercising your right to work. By resigning your membership prior to returning to work, you may avoid this action by the UAW.
  • Employees who are non-members or who have resigned their membership prior to returning to work are not subject to the union’s bylaws and internal procedures.
  • If Caterpillar and the UAW cannot reach an agreement during an economic strike, Caterpillar has the right to hire permanent replacement workers.
  • The labor contract prohibits Morton and York from participating in a strike.

What Happens to Your Pay and Benefits During a Strike

  • Pay: You will not receive any wages from Caterpillar. You may be eligible for a small strike stipend from the UAW provided you meet their eligibility requirements.
  • Unemployment: In Illinois, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits during a period of strike.
  • Incentives: Like any absence, days missed due to a strike will reduce your Rewards payments.
  • Overtime: In addition to losing wages for missed regular schedules, employees will miss the opportunity for overtime at premium pay.
  • Retirement: 401(k) contributions – both yours and Caterpillar’s – are stopped.  
  • Paid Time Off: You will not accrue earnings while on strike. Since vacation pay is based on prior year’s earnings, you will have a lower vacation payout in 2024.
  • Health Care: Your health care coverage may be terminated.

What a Strike May Cost You

An employee at the top of Labor Grade 3 who is working 8 hours of overtime per week would lose close to $800 per week after strike pay, plus the above benefits losses. A four-month strike would cost over $12,500, plus Rewards impact, vacation impact, 401k match loss and potential health care coverage loss. 

Table displaying: Total Caterpillar Weekly Pay $1183 minus Strike Weekly Pay $400 equals $783 Loss per Week
Table displaying: Total Caterpillar Weekly Pay $1183 minus Strike Weekly Pay $400 equals $783 Loss per Week

We aim to reach an agreement that positions Caterpillar, our facilities
and our employees to compete and succeed long into the future.

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