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More Caterpillar workers battle union fines over strike (Read More…)

By Meribah Knight
April 17, 2013

Fifteen more Caterpillar workers have filed federal charges against the machinists union in Joliet, alleging that the union unlawfully fined them for crossing the picket line during last summer’s three-month strike at Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc.

Last May, after contract negotiations stalled, nearly 800 employees represented by the International Association of Machinists walked off the job at Caterpillar’s hydraulic-parts factory. After a few weeks, more than 100 returned to work, fed up over the lack of progress in the talks.

The charges, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, are the latest in a string of lawsuits following the strike that were brought against IAM Local 851.

To date, 41 workers have filed charges. The most recent come exactly three months after the union settled a case with two workers, Daniel Eggleston and Steven Olsen, who were fined by the union after crossing the picket line despite the fact that they were not officially members of the union for years.


According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, other Caterpillar workers who contacted the foundation for free legal aid were fined more than $30,000 by the union after crossing the picket line this past summer.

The union did not return calls seeking comment.

The workers are being represented pro bono by the legal defense foundation, an organization associated with the National Right to Work Committee, backed by businesspeople and individuals who oppose labor contracts mandating membership. It lobbies for right-to-work legislation making union membership voluntary. Such legislation now exists in 24 states around the country including Michigan and Indiana.


Posted by Admin on 04/18 at 09:03 AM