New agreement at Caterpillar France
In addition to a pay rise, unions have managed to secure employment through the conversion of eighty precarious jobs into permanent ones.
FRANCE: Mandatory annual negotiations on pay and working conditions for Caterpillar workers at the Grenoble and Echirolles plants, which began in December 2011, took place in the context of a fairly settled industrial relations climate and a favourable business environment. The unions reached agreement with management after four months of negotiations. The provisions of the majority agreement include:
- A 2 % pay rise for all (except managers);
- A pay rise based on merit for about 80% of the workforce, calculated at 1% of the payroll;
- An increase for promotion, calculated at 0.4% of the payroll;
- A 3.4% increase in the company's minimum wage, to €1,515;
- Extension of the pay structure, providing an additional possibility for wage progression;
- Conversion of 80 precarious employment contracts into permanent contracts in 2012;
- Integration of the seniority bonus into the figure used for calculating the STIP (short-term incentive plan), set at 3% of gross annual pay, which will result in about €100 more in average per year for all;
- Continued annual payment of a €360 service-employment cheque to disabled workers;
- All staff have equal leave rights for family events;
- In the context of new TTX and WHEX production lines coming on stream in 2013, the unions have obtained two supplementary days leave to compensate for the rest days imposed by management to meet production contingencies during the course of the year. This provision shall be in force for two years.
At the end of the negotiations, a majority of the workforce voted in favour of the agreement.
The Caterpillar plant in Grenoble, which manufactures components for the undercarriages of engines assembled at other plants of the group, employs about 1,100 workers. The Echirolles plant, located near Grenoble, assembles tractors, loaders and wheel excavators and has about 1,300 workers. The agreement is valid for one year, in accordance with labour legislation. Apr 19, 2012 – Anne-Marie Mureau