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London workers face lockout

Published by Steve Coleman on January 02, 2012

Caterpillar workers in London, Ont. have started the New Year on the outside looking in.

The company's Electro-Motive unit locked out manufacturing workers pending ratification of a new contract with the Canadian Auto Workers.

Union officials encouraged workers not to strike after negotiations broke down. The company says it's unilaterally imposing contract changes.

Caterpillar's offer includes a more than 50 per cent cut in wages and health-care and an elimination of pension benefits. CAW says it's still willing to talk.

The Electro-Motive Canada unit employs about 450 hourly workers. A Reuters news story says it's still unclear whether or not the company plans to bring in replacement workers to keep the production lines rolling.

The division is part of Caterpillar's Progress Rail Services group based in Alabama and competes with Bombardier Inc. and General Electric Co for business.

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