United Automobile Workers Protest

Date: 1992

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Protest

Protestors: Factory workers at Caterpillar, Inc.

Confronting Bodies: Caterpillar, Inc. management

Dates of Action: April 1992

Location: Pontiac, IL

Description of Speech: Slogans such as "No contract, no peace," and "Hey, hey, ho, ho. The final offer has to go."

The Incident: About 175 members of the United Automobile Workers union briefly walked off their jobs at a Caterpillar factory after being told they could no longer chant anti-company slogans in the plant. Caterpillar and the union have been locked in a contract dispute for two and a half years. The struggle included a 163-day strike that collapsed in April 1992 when the company imposed its final offer and threatened to replace all strikers.

Results of Incident: The company said they weren't going to tolerate it anymore and that further chants could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, according to Walter Koprowski, bargaining chairman for UAW Local 2096. The walkout was brief and included only the workers from one shift. Susan Rittenhouse, a company spokeswoman, said the company had received a letter from the union making an unconditional offer to return to work.

Source: New York Times (AP), March 9, 1994