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Caterpillar Locks 500 Canadians Workers out of Plant for refusing 50% pay cut

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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 08:41 AM
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Of course it's submit or you lose your job!

Caterpillar Inc. Locks 500 Workers out of Plant

About 500 locomotive workers were locked out of a Caterpillar plant in Canada Monday after refusing to accept pay cuts of more than 50 percent, union officials said.

The workers at Electro-Motive Diesel in London, Ontario, are members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, who were given an ultimatum to accept a reduction from $35 to $16.50 per hour, as well as a cut in benefits, the QMI Agency reported.


But but but profits!

The union has stated it wouldn't accept cuts of any kind and says Caterpillar is posting record profits, the report said.


The Canadian government should ban Caterpillar from doing any business in Canada if they are allowed to pull that crap. Enough with sending jobs overseas to Chinese slaves to make profits rise. It's bad for us and bad for the Chinese.
edit on 3-1-2012 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 08:53 AM
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Only the beginning.
Lots of jobs will be lowering pay, this year is going to be a screwed year for Canada.

Im not surprised by this at all, i wonder what is going to come of it. Because they shouldn't be taking that kind of pay cut. At all. Thats what they were offered upon hire, or raises etc. and therefore should get that until a time in which they are not employed by that company..



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 08:53 AM
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That is sad for those individuals to potentially lose their jobs but this is how I see it...
Is the factory job worth 35$ an hour?
I'm sure those workers could've been replaced by machines that get paid 0$ an hour, so at least they still have something.

on cutting benefits though.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:06 AM
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Don't see why such drastic reduction would be needed..

Is this the actual figures, or exaggerations put out by the union reps.

If they are indeed trying to pull off a 50+% wage cut, that would be insane.
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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:12 AM
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Welcome to the new "smaller economy" we are all going to have to lower our expectations that's "what a "deflating bubble" means.

Artificially high"values" will come down into line with "real world values".Are 4 bedroom homes worth $450,000+ in California when they cost $135,000 elsewhere? Of course not. People who paid that much are going to lose considerable amounts of money.

Factories pay workers based on demand and production. Demand is dying or dead in all sectors. Especially construction and rail. Unions can demand all they want on paper it doesn't make it viable in the "zombie( walking dead) global economy. Tough noogies...

How much of Caterpillars "massive profit" is from wall st. paper "asset" shuffling vs this Canadian plant actually producing and selling hardware?

People don't invest in non- profitable companies.As we've seen fudging the numbers is a national past time on Corporate wall st.
Caterpillar is a"global conglomeration". They can surely still show a corporate profit while carrying expensive "unprofitable" divisions..
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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by 46ACE
 


I watched a steel mill here in Cleveland close down because the union refused to cut the workforce. (The plant wanted to automate some aspects).

They sold the business to the Germans, who then shut it down, tore the plant down and now there is a Wal-Mart in its place.

I’m sure that it does not employ many of those now unemployed steelworkers.

A business is in business for one reason and one reason only. To make a profit.

If they are not making a profit, it makes sense to cut corners.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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This is the beauty of the capitalist supply and demand type of idiocy.
The system itself is designed to boom and bust on a regular basis....look at the last several decades since ww2....there have been constant ups and downs that have reverberated through the entire economies of the free world.
Its not democracy thats the problem...its CAPITALISM!
No, im no commie either....but when the whole shebang gets run for the benefit of an elite few, id say the two systems are on par....and the little guys are getting screwed everywhere....
Time to turn over their rock.....the elite have criminally stolen the wealth of generations......
We have got to stop fearing everything and everybody they sic us onto......
We muct start questioning everything we are told more deeply.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by AzureSky
Only the beginning.
Lots of jobs will be lowering pay, this year is going to be a screwed year for Canada.



Factor in inflation and you have a compound effect. Some of the things I buy have gone up 1/3 to well over 50% in the last year. $2 = $2 now, 50% cut and you have $1, 50% inflation and $2 costs $3. Obviously I don;t know what inflation will be but with this scenario you would start with $2 to buy $2 of stuff and end with $1 to buy $3 of stuff. With high inflation that would be like a 60-70% cut in pay, that is tough to budget for and most have not done so.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by AzureSky
Only the beginning.
Lots of jobs will be lowering pay, this year is going to be a screwed year for Canada.

Im not surprised by this at all, i wonder what is going to come of it. Because they shouldn't be taking that kind of pay cut. At all. Thats what they were offered upon hire, or raises etc. and therefore should get that until a time in which they are not employed by that company..

Azure: I'm sure there were "buggy whip" makers making good money when the automobile came along and people quit using horses and carts...
"change"...
The internet(as much as I love it) has also taken great big bites out of our local economy. Local small businesses are struggling. I do as much as I can to help a few friends businesses cope with that.
The world economy is in the toilet; We can cling to the old paradigmand "long for the good old days": (The equivalent of Wishing in one hand and crapping in the other ; see yourself which fills up first!)

We are the ones "on the bubble" this time.(How "unfortunate" ;wewill be the ones to feel the pain. In the 1920's/30's it was grandma and grampa's "time")

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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:50 AM
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This situation needs to be watched carefully by all Canadians. Caterpillar (by it's subsidiary company Progress Rail) has recently opened another plant in Muncie, Indiana (I believe) where average pay is close to what the company is offering the union. Fears in London is that they will shut the plant and move all production to the US. Before any of you Americans get too excited about stealing Canadian jobs, they are also planning on building plants in Brazil and Mexico so chances are any new jobs in Muncie are likely short lived.

They estimate another 1200 jobs in the area supply parts to the plant as well. Not saying all these jobs are at risk but I'm sure some are. The real danger here is the precedent this has the potential of setting. Whether or not you agree that a factory job is worth $35/hr, if the union settles for a 50% pay cuts (plus major benefit reductions) then how many more companies are going to start offering miserable offers to their unions?

Currently the company has erected fences around the entire plant locking out the workers. The workers are standing guard and refuse to let any temp workers in as well as making sure any locomotives they have built won't leave the factory. This union is the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) union and is quite large. They also have the backing of the Ontario Federation of Labour which represents approx. 1,000,000 laborers across Ontario. This is not just an issue with the 400-500 union workers.

To me, its simple, a greedy corporation is just getting even more greedy. All they worry about is the shareholders who don't contribute anything to the productivity of the plant. This fight will get ugly.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by fenceSitter
(large quote trimmed)

To me, its simple, a greedy corporation is just getting even more greedy.


I'm sure it's very black and white: I.E. "greedy corp".vs "hardworking unions" in your mind.;

When might I ask; would it ever be appropriate to adjust for real world supply and demand in your eyes? Contracts do come around for renewal (renegotiation) every few years( been through a couple myself in plants; both sides often play "hard ball")

Never?
Are you a: "An employer should guarantee your life's income "; mindset?" If so we have nothing to discuss.....






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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by 46ACE

Originally posted by fenceSitter
(large quote trimmed)

To me, its simple, a greedy corporation is just getting even more greedy.


I'm sure it's very black and white: I.E. "greedy corp".vs "hardworking unions" in your mind.;

When might I ask; would it ever be appropriate to adjust for real world supply and demand in your eyes? Contracts do come around for renewal (renegotiation) every few years( been through a couple myself in plants; both sides often play "hard ball")

Never?
Are you a: "An employer should guarantee your life's income "; mindset?" If so we have nothing to discuss.....



edit on 3-1-2012 by 46ACE because: (no reason given)


I agree with you completely there. The company has the absolute right to renegotiate pay, regardless what their profits are.

I think that unions have created this problem. Their tactics have caused union jobs to be paid so out of line with nonunion jobs that companies aren't willing to pay these high salaries anymore. Therefore they go overseas (or down south, where pay is lower in non-union states). That is also criticized.

People need to realize that corporations have a duty to create profits. Keep in mind--if they lowered pay so far that no one would work for that pay, they would have to raise pay. Supply and demand.

I am under contract as a teacher. Last year, I received a 10% pay cut due to the poor economy in our state. I wasn't happy, but that's what they were paying me, so I could either take it, or quit. In addition, our district furloughed us for a number of days without pay, so that was an additional several percent. When times are tough, we must adjust. I wasn't thrilled to have my pay lowered, especially since costs have gone up. We tightened our belts and looked for ways we could spend less as a family. Luckily, it was only 10% (plus the furlough days).

I *do* feel very sorry for the workers who have lifestyles based on the higher pay. But realistically, SHOULD they have been paid that much all along for the jobs they were doing? As someone mentioned earlier...it's like the housing bubble. When things are overinflated, they crash, whether we are talking about houses, stock market, or pay.

As for the company and its profits...I know many here on ATS think all profits are "evil". Or there should be some limit to what percentage they are "allowed" to have as profits. I disagree.

I think it is time for union members to realize that your jobs are not yours by right, and that you might be overpaid based upon supply and demand of workers.

Are these workers going to be happier if and when Caterpillar shuts down completely and their pay is cut by 100%?


edit on 3-1-2012 by GeorgiaGirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Sorry, but I tend to agree that assembly line workers should not be making more money then most medical professionals, air traffic controllers, police officers, and fire fighters.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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Capitalism innovates to maximize the efficiency of profit.

There are no other considerations.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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There is NO SUCH THING as one's pay must be lower than another in a capitalist market.

It's all about supply and demand. If everyone is a PHD, how much should a garage mechanic, the only one in that country be paid? $1,000 ? Or whomever can pays him more?

Same market forces for a quality car versus a tin can china made car. Market forces at play.

UNFORTUNATELY, Corporations and the elites DICTATES market forces. When in advantage, they privatise profits. When in crisis, they socialise losses and debts.

Screw the !%.


Right now, the Corporations are not fools. They know full well that awakened masses aren't gonna take their BS anymore and will down tools. Thus, they pre-empt first, to strike fear to the workers.

The solution to their unconscionable act:- Rally ALL workers in the firm to DOWN TOOLS as well, for sooner or later, they too will face the corporate's moves. Shut down the whole factory. Cease production. Let the company go bankrupt.

REMEBER ALWAYS - Caterpillar is NOT the only company in Canada or the world that produces machines or vehicles. There are COMPETITORS. Join the competitor, or start a new company, since Caterpillar wishes to screw around with true market forces and practised corporate dictatorship, let it go bankrupt. IT's their loss, not workers.

Thus workers need not fear, nor be selfish to cower from industrial action for one's right. At times, it is not just about lifestyle that is hurt by low wages. It is the disability of low wages to keep pace with rising inflation and meeting needs.

Down Tools is a human right against Corporate Tyranny in a free market where competition rules!!!!



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by SeekerofTruth101
 




REMEBER ALWAYS - Caterpillar is NOT the only company in Canada or the world that produces machines or vehicles. There are COMPETITORS. Join the competitor, or start a new company, since Caterpillar wishes to screw around with true market forces and practised corporate dictatorship, let it go bankrupt. IT's their loss, not workers.

Yeah but you can't do that if they move all their stuff to China and produce products for half the cost you can in Canada because you are decent enough to pay your employees a good wage.

The only thing that will stop this crap is if they start putting tariffs on Chinese products or any other country that uses slave labor. And for it to work, all the western world has to do this.

Tariffs on Africa, Asia and South America. Anywhere they use slave labor, tariffs or just ban the imports. Since governments are sellouts to big corporations, no way it'll happen.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by SeekerofTruth101
 


That's not entirely true. What has happened here is that a profession, that requires a very low amount of education, has been allowed to demand extremely high pay because they have a very powerful union that makes demands or goes out on strike.

The professions I mention above require a high degree of education, include high levels of risk to ones self or others, but they are professions that are LEGALLY NOT ALLOWED to go on strike if their demands are not met.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


Well said!

Personally I think $36/hr + benefits (that's $70,000/yr) to work an assembly line, regardless of how much the corporation makes, it ridiculous.

Stupid union bullying has created the atmosphere where it makes logical sense to move production away from Western economies like Canada and the USA. $70k a year.. even in the USA that's about $30k over the national average.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


you do realize that a good number of these "factory workers" are probably welders and machinists who have gone to school for their trades. trades take about 4 years, not all in school, but still. a welder can make $90.00 + an hour with his own truck. the media is just trying to get you on the factories side by saying "just factory workers" it's a way to dumb the public down.

First they come for the "factory worker" and I did nothing (or bashed them for making more money than me)
then they came for the doctors and lawyers and i did nothing (but bashed them for making more than me)
then they came for everyone in the middle class (and bashed them cause they made more than me)
then they came for my job......awwwww snap!



this is only the beginning! B.C. Canada has SH*T wages! yet highest tax and highest housing prices. they have dismantled b.c. quite a bit piece by piece.
Alberta wages $20.00 for class 5 truck driver B.C. wages $12.00 class 5 truck driver
Alberta tax Gst 5% B.C. tax GST/pst = 12%
Alberta Gasoline = around a buck $1/litre B.C. Gasoline = around $1.29+/litre
Alberta roads = mint (roads&bridges built on time) B.C. roads = sh*t everywhere (roads&bridges take years over time)

So watch out Ontario, your next on the agenda. B.C. was the testing ground.......people are just happy to have jobs here!



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 03:32 PM
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This is why you never work for a union. More fees and deductions then you can shake a stick at.







 
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