An Illinois State University scholar says Caterpillar won a total victory in its recent contract dispute with workers at its Joliet plant. Business Professor Victor Devinatz says the union has argued that not allowing cost of living increases when the company is profitable is a strike at the middle class. And Devinatz says nationwide, the numbers are trending that way with a shrinking middle class.
Joliet Machinists Union members also agreed to reductions in seniority, a six year wage freeze for top pay tier workers, and a larger share of health insurance costs. They received a small signing bonus and lower wage workers will get a three percent increase in the first year of the agreement and nothing after that.
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