Union Workers May Occupy CAT Facility

By WEEK Producer

February 6, 2012 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM CDT

London, Ontario -- Members of the Canadian Auto Workers union may occupy a Caterpillar locomotive factory in Canada, if they're unsatisfied with severance payments offered by CAT.

The CAW has occupied workplaces in the past, and taking over the plant in London, Ontario is, according to the Union president, "an option".

Last Friday, Caterpillar said it will close the plant after failing to reach a contract with workers there.

Union officials say Caterpillar plans to move the production of locomotives to a Muncie, Indiana facility.

The union plans to ask for severance payments that exceed the minimum mandated by Ontario law. 

Canadian law caps severance pay at the equivalent of 26 weeks, but employers can pay more ---if they choose.