Records of the Caterpillar Project at Caterpillar Tractors Ltd, Uddingston, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Audio tapes, some with transcripts, of meetings and news reports relating to the Caterpillar Tractors Ltd, Uddingston, occupation 1987-1988

Administrative / Biographical History

On  14 January 1987  news broke that  Caterpillar (UK) Ltd , tractor manufacturers, Leicester, England, were intending to close their plant at  Uddingston, North Lanarkshire, Scotland . The shop stewards at the plant immediately announced their decision to occupy the plant in protest and formed a Joint Occupation Committee. Their occupation lasted 103 days and work did not fully resume until  27 April 1987  , when an agreement was finally reached. The terms of the agreement included no compulsory redundancies until  16 October 1987  and an early retirement plan for those over 50. Nevertheless, the plant did close later in  1987  with the loss off over 600 jobs.

Throughout the occupation,  Charles Woolfson (b1946), a lecturer in the department of Social & Economic Research at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and  John Foster (b1947) documented the action through a series of audio tape recordings with the full permission of the  Joint Occupation Committee. In 1988, they published a book based on the material.

Woolfson, Charles and Foster, John,Track Record: The Story of the Caterpillar Occupation ( London , 1988  )


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Audio tapes UGD 269/1-103 currently undergoing digitisation as part of the NLS project, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, Aug 2019.

Acquisition Information

Dr Charles Woolfson : Department of Social & Economic History, University of Glasgow : 1990, 1995 : ACCNs 0118, 0224

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Received directly from creator


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 180 BBC transcripts relating to the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' work-in

GB 248 UGD 181 Records of Upper Clyde Shop Stewards Committee

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


Woolfson, Charles and Foster, John,Track Record: The Story of the Caterpillar Occupation(1988, London)

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 4 December 2002

Corporate Names

Geographical Names