On Wednesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Central / 8 p.m. Eastern, the Caterpillar Workers Rank-and-File Committee and the World Socialist Web Site are co-hosting an online discussion to analyze the significance of the UAW’s sellout tentative agreement with Cat, how workers can organize to defeat it, and what is needed to win what workers need. Register to attend the meeting here.
Shortly after the midnight expiration of the previous contract covering 7,000 workers on March 1, the UAW announced a tentative agreement for a new six-year contract with the company. The deal was announced as UAW officials desperately sought to avoid a walkout, despite a 99 percent strike authorization vote by workers last month.
Even the limited “highlights” released by the UAW bureaucracy since then show that the contract contains a massive attack on workers’ living standards. The below-inflation wage increases and higher health care premiums would entail a major cut to real income, resulting in the decline of the value of workers’ wages by as much 20 percent the end of the six-year contract.
The deal has already provoked broad opposition among workers. The Caterpillar Rank-and-File Committee has called for a rejection of the deal and preparations to mobilize the working class in a real struggle. The Committee is demanding as “the minimum needed to provide workers a decent standard of living”:
A 50 percent wage increase for all workers, to make up for years of frozen or falling wages and the loss of profit-sharing
COLA (regular cost-of-living raises) in order to keep up with surging food, gas and housing prices
The immediate abolition of the wage and benefit tier system, with post-2005 pay and benefit cuts reversed
At least two weeks of paid personal time for all workers
A massive reduction in health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs for both current workers and retirees
The restoration of pensions for all workers and their payment at a level adequate to provide a decent retirement
Join the Caterpillar Workers Rank-and-File Committee and the WSWS for a democratic forum to discuss the situation facing workers, and the strategy to mobilize workers in the US and internationally in a common fightback. All Cat workers, Deere and CNH workers, autoworkers and other workers are encouraged to attend.
To sign up for text updates from the Caterpillar Workers Rank-and-File Committee or discuss joining, text CAT to (866) 847-1086.