Workers expected to OK wage freeze at Caterpillar

Striking workers at Caterpillar Tractor Company plants are expected to agree to substantial wage concessions by Monday, Monitor labor correspondent Ed Townsend reports.

After a seven-month confrontation with 21,000 workers on picket lines, Caterpillar reached tentative agreement this week with United Automobile Workers negotiators. Although the terms were not announced immediately, they are reported to include a three-year wage freeze but continuing cost-of-living adjustments. The company, whose sales dropped 29 percent last year partly because of foreign competition, said the settlement would allow it to remain competitive. Initially, the union demanded an increase in hourly pay.

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