Events to mark the fight to save Cat

Caterpillar workers pictured in April 1987Caterpillar workers pictured in April 1987
Caterpillar workers pictured in April 1987
Plans are being drawn up to mark the 30th anniversary of the 103-day occupation of the Caterpillar factory in Tannochside.

In September 1986 the American firm announced a £62.5 million investment in the factory to great fanfare.

However, within just 12 weeks they management made a major U-turn and decided to close it down leading the 1,200 workers to take action and on January 14, 1987, they seized the factory.

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Caterpillar Workers Legacy Project secretary John Gillen was a shop steward at the time of the sit-in.

He said: “When the initial investment was announced it really boosted the workforce so there was a lot of anger when just a few weeks later we were told the factory was to close.

“We decided we weren’t going to take it lying down and wanted to do something a little bit different than the usual trade union so rather than picket outside the plant we decided to stay inside and lock the management out.

“We held out for 103 days and I think it is important that as we mark the 30th anniversary of the occupation that the event isn’t allowed to be forgotten and ensure our story lives on for another 30 years for a generation who only really know Caterpillar for making boots and jumpers.”

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