Caterpillar EWC and global union network united in action


Members of the Caterpillar European Works Council express their support for the development of the IMF Caterpillar union network in the area of health and training.

FRANCE:  The Caterpillar European Works Council met June 15 and 16 in Rantigny, near Paris.  All 33 Council members are union members and represent workers of the world's number one manufacturer of construction and mining equipment in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. A EMF representative also participated as an expert.  Today Caterpillar employs about 21,500 workers in Europe, compared to 25,000 before the crisis.

The Gosselies plant in Belgium enploys the largest number of workers of any Caterpillar plant outside the United States.  

The preparatory meeting of union representatives on June 15 was followed by a visit to the Rantigny Caterpillar plant, which produces compactors and employs approximately 300 persons.  Discussions with the management dealt with the following issues:

  • The strategy of Caterpillar Inc., the 2010 financial results and the outlook for 2011;
  • Acquisitions in Europe and the level of employment;
  • Progress of the Caterpillar Power System (CPS);
  • The pay system in the European Union and the "STIP" (Short-term investment plan)
  • Retirement plans;
  • The "Taleo" personnel management system;
  • The social assistance service in Europe;
  • Sales and market shares in Europe and around the world.

Regarding retirement plans, the Secretary of the European Works Council was given the task to prepare a survey of the various systems existing in Europe.  At the Council's request the question of dealers was also placed on the agenda.  At present there are 206 dealers employing 126,000 persons around the world.  

In his closing statement the Council Chairman officially announced to the European central management that the Council members wanted to open a forum for dialogue at the global level.  "With the IMF and the Caterpillar network created within it, we will soon propose a global framework agreement on matters of concern to all of us, i.e. occupational health and safety and vocational training," he added.  

Four members of the European Works Council sit on the Steering Committee of the IMF Caterpillar network, which met in March 2011 in Chicago, USA.