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Caterpillar: Bulldozing the American Dream

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,563
3
0
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/business/profitable-caterpillar-pushes-workers-for-steep-cuts.html?_r=1&ref=organizedlabor

At Caterpillar, Pressing Labor While Business Booms

Despite earning a record $4.9 billion profit last year and projecting even better results for 2012, the company is insisting on a six-year wage freeze and a pension freeze for most of the 780 production workers at its factory here. Caterpillar says it needs to keep its labor costs down to ensure its future competitiveness.

Caterpillar, which has significantly raised its executives’ compensation because of its strong profits, defended its demands, saying many unionized workers were paid well above market rates. To run the factory during the strike, the company is using replacement workers, managers and a few union members who have crossed the picket line.

Caterpillar locked out about 450 workers at its locomotive plant in London, Ontario, and then closed the factory after the union rejected its demand to cut wages by 55 percent.

“A company that earned a record $4.9 billion in 2011 and $1.586 billion in the first quarter of this year should be willing to help the workers who made those profits for them,” said Timothy O’Brien, president of Machinists Local Lodge 851, which represents the strikers. “Caterpillar believes in helping the very rich, but what they’re doing would help eliminate the middle class.”

He said the company wants a pay and pension freeze for longtime workers to push them into retirement and replace them with $13-an-hour workers.




This is why this country is in economic trouble. Caterpillar is doing a massive transfer of wealth from its employees to its wealthy stockholders and top management.
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
25,383
1,013
126
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/business/profitable-caterpillar-pushes-workers-for-steep-cuts.html?_r=1&ref=organizedlabor

At Caterpillar, Pressing Labor While Business Booms

Despite earning a record $4.9 billion profit last year and projecting even better results for 2012, the company is insisting on a six-year wage freeze and a pension freeze for most of the 780 production workers at its factory here. Caterpillar says it needs to keep its labor costs down to ensure its future competitiveness.

Caterpillar, which has significantly raised its executives’ compensation because of its strong profits, defended its demands, saying many unionized workers were paid well above market rates. To run the factory during the strike, the company is using replacement workers, managers and a few union members who have crossed the picket line.

Caterpillar locked out about 450 workers at its locomotive plant in London, Ontario, and then closed the factory after the union rejected its demand to cut wages by 55 percent.

“A company that earned a record $4.9 billion in 2011 and $1.586 billion in the first quarter of this year should be willing to help the workers who made those profits for them,” said Timothy O’Brien, president of Machinists Local Lodge 851, which represents the strikers. “Caterpillar believes in helping the very rich, but what they’re doing would help eliminate the middle class.”

He said the company wants a pay and pension freeze for longtime workers to push them into retirement and replace them with $13-an-hour workers.




This is why this country is in economic trouble. Caterpillar is doing a massive transfer of wealth from its employees to its wealthy stockholders and top management.
The workers will get paid whatever salary and benefits they can negotiate for; there's no "wealth transfer" going on here.
 
Jan 25, 2011
16,120
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CAT had no desire in negotiating with the employees here. They demanded the cut, locked everyone out and that was it. 55% cut in wages is ridiculous. Barely a dent in their overall profitability.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
41,500
4,278
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CAT had no desire in negotiating with the employees here. They demanded the cut, locked everyone out and that was it. 55% cut in wages is ridiculous. Barely a dent in their overall profitability.
Sounds like they were looking for a reason to shut the doors.
 

sunzt

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 2003
3,076
3
81
I would think that if a company makes huge profits, is projected to make huge profits, and gives their upper management bonuses/raises because they made huge profits the company would share some of its huge profits to the people who actually build, maintain, administer, develop, and service the products that have led to the company making huge profits..... Isn't that the basis of "trickle down"?

Or is the worker's share of profits is that they get to keep their jobs with a paycut?
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,563
3
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I would think that if a company makes huge profits, is projected to make huge profits, and gives their upper management bonuses/raises because they made huge profits the company would share some of its huge profits to the people who actually build, maintain, administer, develop, and service the products that have led to the company making huge profits..... Isn't that the basis of "trickle down"?

Or is the worker's share of profits is that they get to keep their jobs with a paycut?
Well, I thought most people realized that trickle down was bullshit.:biggrin:

But, this whole thing smells of a "game changer". No longer do companies feel a need to even let a little trickle down.
 

Pr0d1gy

Diamond Member
Jan 30, 2005
7,775
0
76
I would think that if a company makes huge profits, is projected to make huge profits, and gives their upper management bonuses/raises because they made huge profits the company would share some of its huge profits to the people who actually build, maintain, administer, develop, and service the products that have led to the company making huge profits..... Isn't that the basis of "trickle down"?

Or is the worker's share of profits is that they get to keep their jobs with a paycut?
Trickle down is a lie we were all sold in the 80's. It is obviously bullshit.


55% pay cut with record Profits and Executive Pay increases? Indefensible.
More like....Typical.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,650
199
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You idiots seem to think caterpillar should have just done the same as detroit, just sit on their butts overpaying their workers, until they reach the point where they are no longer competitive and they're in a big mess and need a bailout.

It's a competitive market, the company is doing what it should to keep their expenses in check, just like the workers and their union try to increase their wages. Just because the company is making a profit doesn't mean it shouldn't do everything it can to maintain the competitive edge they have.

Caterpillar should just move their HQ out of illinois to a state with better leadership and do even better.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,257
3,354
126
You idiots seem to think caterpillar should have just done the same as detroit, just sit on their butts overpaying their workers, until they reach the point where they are no longer competitive and they're in a big mess and need a bailout.

It's a competitive market, the company is doing what it should to keep their expenses in check, just like the workers and their union try to increase their wages. Just because the company is making a profit doesn't mean it shouldn't do everything it can to maintain the competitive edge they have.

Caterpillar should just move their HQ out of illinois to a state with better leadership and do even better.
:\
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,563
3
0
You idiots seem to think caterpillar should have just done the same as detroit, just sit on their butts overpaying their workers, until they reach the point where they are no longer competitive and they're in a big mess and need a bailout.

It's a competitive market, the company is doing what it should to keep their expenses in check, just like the workers and their union try to increase their wages. Just because the company is making a profit doesn't mean it shouldn't do everything it can to maintain the competitive edge they have.

Caterpillar should just move their HQ out of illinois to a state with better leadership and do even better.
Yes, that 13 dollars an hour is way too much to pay a worker.:thumbsdown:
 

sunzt

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 2003
3,076
3
81
You idiots seem to think caterpillar should have just done the same as detroit, just sit on their butts overpaying their workers, until they reach the point where they are no longer competitive and they're in a big mess and need a bailout.

It's a competitive market, the company is doing what it should to keep their expenses in check, just like the workers and their union try to increase their wages. Just because the company is making a profit doesn't mean it shouldn't do everything it can to maintain the competitive edge they have.

Caterpillar should just move their HQ out of illinois to a state with better leadership and do even better.
So it's ok to have overpaid senior management when profits are huge and forecasted to be huge, but it's not ok to even maintain current levels of pay for the people who contributed most to building the profitable products when profits are huge and forecasted to be hudge? (which would not have impacted their huge profits any bit).

If they really wanted to keep their expenses in check they would have cut pay to senior management as well! That way they can share in the success that the workers are getting when the company makes huge profits.

Lead by example. If the execs and workers are overpaid then cut both, but don't do one and then defend not doing it for the other.
 
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Vdubchaos

Lifer
Nov 11, 2009
10,413
9
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Don't worry and remember: Greed will bury even the lucky eventually.

We are consumer based economy, slowly running out of consumers
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
772
126
$13 an hour? how the fuck?

When i was in college and i worked in sales at Microcenter, i made about $14 an hour and that was back in ***2000***. That was back in my Ramen eating days.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,563
3
0
$13 an hour? how the fuck?

When i was in college and i worked in sales at Microcenter, i made about $14 an hour and that was back in ***2000***. That was back in my Ramen eating days.
Welcome to the new Republican America. "Papers please"
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
772
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CAT is a publicly-traded company. There's nothing preventing workers from also being stockholders.
Being paid $13 an hour would pretty much prevent them. And even if they were paid a decent middle class wage, they wouldn't be able to get enough stock to influence the board/management.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,563
3
0
CAT is a publicly-traded company. There's nothing preventing workers from also being stockholders.
Except the 13 dollars an hour they are paid. Even if they forego luxuries like eating they can't buy much on 13 an hour.

Refresh my memory. What percentage of the wealth of this country do the richest one percent and ten percent own?
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
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So they want a freeze on pay of their senior line worked at 26 bucks\hour. Thier junior line workers make between 12-19 an hour and they arent being touched. They may even see a pay raise. The company claims the top line workers are making 34% more than the local market for the same work.
 
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schneiderguy

Lifer
Jun 26, 2006
10,763
31
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Except the 13 dollars an hour they are paid. Even if they forego luxuries like eating they can't buy much on 13 an hour.

Refresh my memory. What percentage of the wealth of this country do the richest one percent and ten percent own?
If they wanted to make more than $13/hour they should acquire skills that justify paying them more than $13/hour.
 

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