UAW workers reject Caterpillar labor contract offer

Caterpillar employees reported to work as usual Monday a day after UAW members voted down the equipment manufacturer’s “final offer” for a new labor contract. The previous six-year contract, which was extended during negotiations, expired at midnight Sunday. Cal Rapson, United Auto Workers vice president, said the UAW-Caterpillar Central Bargaining Committee would convene as soon as practical to assess the situation and plan its next steps. The contract affects 8,000 workers in Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and more than 20,000 retirees. The UAW said the proposed contract included higher health care costs and 50 percent lower starting wages compared to the previous labor agreement.