Caterpillar, UAW halt contract talks for holidays

By Associated Press
Posted Dec. 17, 2010 at 2:16 p.m.

Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states.

The two sides met Thursday for about two hours. They didn’t comment on the details and have agreed not to publicly discuss the contract while negotiations continue.

The Journal Star newspaper in Peoria reports that industry analysts think the primary issues are health insurance costs and job security.

The existing contract expires in March. In addition to Peoria-area workers, it covers employees in Aurora, Decatur and Pontiac.

Some workers in York, Pa., Denver, Colo., and Memphis, Tenn. are also covered, and some terms affect more than 20,000 of the company’s retirees.

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