IndustriALL Caterpillar Network Meeting

Caterpillar global trade union network plans future activities and links with UAW “Agricultural Implement Council”

On 2 and 3 April, thirty Caterpillar union representatives from four continents met in Orlando, Florida, to strengthen their network activities and to link with other company networks. The participants had a vivid exchange overcoming political and company barriers.

The Caterpillar trade union chair, UAW secretary-treasurer, Dennis Williams, made clear that “For the employees within Caterpillar the global network is a means to improve the workers’ situation within the group.”

For two days the 30 delegates from seven countries discussed the situation and the future activities of the group. Besides, they used the chance to interact with the over 60 delegates of the “UAW Agricultural Implement Council”.

The participants in both meetings had a close interaction and learnt a lot from each other. With reference to the situation in the South of the USA, one delegate stated: “The so called “right to work” in some Southern states is just a right to work more for less pay and less favorable conditions”.

The delegates discussed not only the general situation and dismissals within Caterpillar, but also joint future activities. At this occasion they adopted a working plan with a strategic approach in order to achieve a better dialogue. During the exchange with the USA Agricultural Implement Council with reference to the global strategy of the MNC, IndustriALL’s director for mechanical engineering Matthias Hartwich stated, “As the companies today organize their activities on a global level, we as trade unions will also find our answers globally. We are a global family of brothers and sisters.”

At the end of the network meeting, delegates promised to come together again next year and to even broaden their basis with organizing activities in different countries.