Caterpillar Opens 2011 Contract Talks With United Auto Workers

Dec 15, 2010, 15:30 ET from Caterpillar Inc.

PEORIA, Ill., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and the United Auto Workers (UAW) today began negotiations for a new labor agreement. The current contract, ratified in 2005, will expire on March 1, 2011. The agreement covers approximately 9,500 production and maintenance workers at the company's Illinois facilities in Aurora, Decatur, East Peoria, Mapleton, Mossville, Morton and Pontiac, as well as those in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The parties met today and will resume discussions tomorrow. Both parties have agreed to make no public comments to the media on contract issues during the negotiations process. The meetings are taking place in Caterpillar Building CV in East Peoria, Illinois.

In today's opening session, the Company said it seeks to reach an agreement that is fair to all parties and helps the covered facilities compete in the international marketplace. Caterpillar also reinforced its commitment to providing competitive wages and benefits, a safe work environment and the flexibility to succeed in a volatile global economy.

"Caterpillar's strategic approach to the global financial crisis was both timely and effective. Even though our sales fell $19 billion in one year, the company retained its focus on delivering excellent customer service and high quality products while reducing costs," said Chris Glynn, Caterpillar's director of corporate human relations. "As a result of these actions, we were positioned to respond as the business continues to recover and we have recalled nearly all of our production employees."

Glynn said that the company's negotiating team would work diligently to reach an agreement that would allow these plants to compete and serve the growing global markets.

"A strong, profitable company is the best source of long-term job security and community stability," Glynn said.

During the first meeting with representatives of the UAW, Caterpillar addressed at a high level, the competitive challenges facing the company in the post-recession marketplace. The remarks included information about the dramatic increase in the number of manufacturers of excavation and earthmoving equipment, especially in emerging economies.

About Caterpillar:

For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2009 sales and revenues of $32.396 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at:

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release relate to future events and expectations and, as such, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to known and unknown factors that may cause actual results of Caterpillar Inc. to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Words such as "believe," "estimate," "will be," "will," "would," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "project," "intend," "could," "should" or other similar words or expressions often identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our outlook, projections, forecasts or trend descriptions. These statements do not guarantee future performance, and Caterpillar does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.

It is important to note that actual results of the company may differ materially from those described or implied in such forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) economic volatility in the global economy generally and in capital and credit markets; (ii) Caterpillar's ability to generate cash from operations, secure external funding for operations and manage liquidity needs; (iii) adverse changes in the economic conditions of the industries or markets Caterpillar serves; (iv) government regulations or policies, including those affecting interest rates, liquidity, access to capital and government spending on infrastructure development; (v) commodity price increases and/or limited availability of raw materials and component products, including steel; (vi) compliance costs associated with environmental laws and regulations; (vii) Caterpillar's and Cat Financial's ability to maintain their respective credit ratings, material increases in either company's cost of borrowing or an inability of either company to access capital markets; (viii) financial condition and credit worthiness of Cat Financial's customers; (ix) material adverse changes in our customers' access to liquidity and capital; (x) market acceptance of Caterpillar's products and services; (xi) effects of changes in the competitive environment, which may include decreased market share, lack of acceptance of price increases, and/or negative changes to our geographic and product mix of sales; (xii) Caterpillar's ability to successfully implement Caterpillar Production System or other productivity initiatives; (xiii) international trade and investment policies, such as import quotas, capital controls or tariffs; (xiv) failure of Caterpillar or Cat Financial to comply with financial covenants in their respective credit facilities; (xv) adverse changes in sourcing practices for our dealers or original equipment manufacturers; (xvi) additional tax expense or exposure; (xvii) political and economic risks associated with our global operations, including changes in laws, regulations or government policies, currency restrictions, restrictions on repatriation of earnings, burdensome tariffs or quotas, national and international conflict, including terrorist acts and political and economic instability or civil unrest in the countries in which Caterpillar operates; (xviii) currency fluctuations, particularly increases and decreases in the U.S. dollar against other currencies; (xix) increased payment obligations under our pension plans; (xx) the possibility that the acquisition by Caterpillar of Bucyrus International, Inc. does not close for any reason, including, but not limited to, a failure to obtain required regulatory approvals, (xxi) inability to successfully integrate and realize expected benefits from acquisitions; (xxii) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or investigations; (xxiii) imposition of significant costs or restrictions due to the enactment and implementation of health care reform legislation and financial regulation legislation; (xxiv) changes in accounting standards or adoption of new accounting standards; (xxv) adverse effects of natural disasters; and (xxvi) other factors described in more detail under "Item 1A.  Risk Factors" in Part I of our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 19, 2010 for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in Part II of our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on May 3, 2010 for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.  These filings are available on our website at

SOURCE Caterpillar Inc.