How The Union Is Scratching Back At Cat

In regards to "Caterpillar's Don Fites: Why he didn't blink" (People, Aug. 10), United Auto Workers Caterpillar locals are engaged in a long-term fight to create a "a thousand points of pain" for Cat management. Although uneven from plant to plant, sophisticated "in-plant strategies" are being implemented to do no more than is legally required to improve Cat productivity and quality. Outside the plants, the UAW is developing a worldwide "pressure campaign" similar to the one the steelworkers usedto win a contract at Ravenswood Aluminum. These new union tactics take awhile to develop and bear fruit, but over the long term they can put tremendous pressure on a company's ability to manage itself. And, unlike the 1980s, unions now are well-seasoned in the use of these tactics.

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