Strike at Caterpillar ends after direct offers made to Northern Ireland work force

Unite union members have been striking since April at Caterpillar.

A strike at manufacturing firm Caterpillar has come to an end, it has been confirmed.

Members of the Unite union employed by the company at its Belfast and Larne sites had been striking since April.

Caterpillar made direct offers to the workforce at the end of June after saying negotiations with Unite had been exhausted. The firm and union had been engaged in talks for the past 14 months.

The company offered workers a 9% base salary increase effective from 1 April. It has also offered a lump sum payment equal to 2.6% of wages earned from April 1, 2021 to April 1, 2022.

Workers were also being offered an annual opportunity to cash in up to two days of annual leave, which equated to a payment of up to 0.95% of base salary.

A spokesperson for Caterpillar said: "We are pleased the union has canceled its additional weeks of industrial action and look forward to welcoming everyone back to work. "We have received a strong and favorable response to the company’s direct offer and look forward to welcoming everyone back to work."

The development comes as Unite workers at Co Armagh flooring manufacturer Interface Europe also ended strike action on Monday.

Staff accepted what has been described as an "inflation-busting" 15% pay increase offer.

Unite welcomed the agreement as "a big win".

Eline Oudenbroek, vice president supply chain for Interface, said: "We are pleased to have reached a satisfactory outcome with our team.”

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