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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 @ 05:40 PM
One forgets that withut these skilled workers who put their health on the line to perform their trades....
Welders end up with bad lunos bad backs and the rest of the trades have equal perils....
The tradeworkers are not living very long into their retirements like the upper classes do either.....
The ranks and file give their bodies and health to produce the goods that the world still buys from us, but they deserve a 50% kick in the ass with a frozen boot, and a cut in what benefits they jave earned for their troubles......
The problem doesnt lie with factory workers making this wage, but with corporations making way too much profits.
The corporations enjoy so much more advantages over the workers already that it is ridiculous....
Whos gonna bail oput the workers when their stupid?
Thats right nobody......
yet poor management has gleaned the workers tax monies from the goverments every time there is some too big to fail company that has idiots running it.
The workers end up fighting their own battles, the corporations hire goons.....
Who has the moral high ground here?

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:48 PM
reply to post by TDawgRex

But...they are making a profit. A very handsome profit.

I believe that the people actually doing the work have a right to the fruits of their labor and that the business shouldn't be able to screw them over willy-nilly just because they want to make a few more bucks even though they're already making a good profit.

Some people look at it as a privilege that the people working there have a job. I look at it as a privilege that the business is allowed to thrive in my community and continue doing business there. It's a privilege that these snot-nosed spoiled little executives get to sit on their butts all day in meetings and make money off the labor of people that work 5 times harder than them. If they're going to pull crap like this, then they need to be kicked out and banned from doing business in my community.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:51 PM

Originally posted by Vitchilo
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)

Yes, but it's good for a handful of rich people. They want the 200 million dollar yacht, not the 100 million dollar model, GEEZ!

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 06:12 PM
reply to post by theclutch

According to Caterpillars website, the manufacturing base of operations is not trade specific jobs. There are three classifications of jobs at the corporation it appears.. Administrative. Manufacturing. Engineering. The engineers are way outside of the $36/hr range, their pay is far higher. The manufacturing (unskilled) and Admin is the only jobs within the pay range.

So.... yeah. It's honestly no different than GM .. does a guy deserve $70k+ a year to watch a ROBOT weld a car together? No. They get these high wages because the corporations are exceedingly large, and thus super powerful unions.. the unions eventually take so much that in a down turn economy the corporations are strangled by their own staff.

I know .. I know .. it just doesn't seem fair to the Socialist mindset. We should all be rich and live in mansions and never work a day in our lives.

PS: Got a problem with the way this corporation runs it's business? Buy some shares, voice your opinions at their shareholder conference.
edit on 1/3/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)

Here is an interesting article about corporations fighting Unions in Canada..

Union officials said Caterpillar's latest proposal would halve wages and reduce benefits. Tim Carrie, president of the CAW's local branch, said the cut would reduce hourly pay to 16.50 Canadian dollars (US$16.16) for most workers from C$34.

Caterpillar declined to provide details of its offer but said wages and benefits at the Canadian plant are twice those of workers represented by the UAW at Electro-Motive's LaGrange plant. Under the most recent contract, Caterpillar said, the plant wasn't "sufficiently flexible and cost-competitive in the global marketplace."
In October, Caterpillar opened a locomotive-production plant in Muncie, Ind., prompting fears among its Ontario workers that the company would shift all or most production to Muncie. A Caterpillar spokesman declined to comment on production plans at the London, Ontario, plant.

(workers in Indiana make less than the Canadians)

Basic Capitalist principle: It makes no sense to produce in the most expensive market. Either create an equilibrium .... or move operations.
edit on 1/3/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/3/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 06:48 PM
Wow they have really brainwashed so many people. The goal of having the working class tear itself down has really worked! the more you rally to lower someones wages, we ALL loose. Who do you think is next in line once there pay is cut? an assembly worker in a heavy equipment plant is working i assure you. much more than most of the desk jockies making 70k. cant everyone see the abuse of fear going around to strip workers down? dont give me the global competition crap, no one should compete with slave labor. do you think once they have gotten the 50% pay cut that they will cut the price of there equipment in half or even an 1/8 to compete? never, because in their world inflation is real. if people want to bitch about G.M why dont they bring up that cars averaged about 3500 in the 70's when the workers were making about 17 an hour, now they average 35,000 and the workers are making too much at 45 hour now? no one ever talks about Ford having the same union yet they made great profits during the same time GM failed? sounds like management failure to me.
edit on 3-1-2012 by DDDDD because: i cant spell for poo

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 07:34 PM
reply to post by DDDDD

Hi. I see you know nothing of economics, principally, Capitalist economics.

Let me explain:

What drives wages higher?

A. The natural right to an ever increasing wage that can never be lowered
B. The Government demanding corporations increase wages.
C. A shrinking professional, available, workforce.

Answer is C. Wages in Capitalist economies only (naturally) rise when there is a competition for laborers. When economies are good and robust, and there is job growth as well as economic growth, corporations will compete with each other to get the best employees .. this usually equates to increased wages, benefits, time off, sick days you name it.

When economies are crap and unemployment is high ... there is absolutely no reason to continue paying obscene wages, or to continue offering more for jobs, no reason to increase benefits and so on. Eventually the economy corrects its self.. that is .. normally, when the Government(s) are not sticking their hands into all aspects of the economy trying to "revive" it only resulting in making it completely fubar.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:20 PM
The problem is the unions driving up wages.

I work factory work now. I do not make big cash but I get enough to live by. I would love to see the half way point of $35 an hour that would be great. Hell, send the company here and I will work for half of $35 an hour and not be in a union.

That said to those cutting factory workers by making it seem you are not smart by working there. It takes problem solving and mechanical skills to keep a line running and keep it running efficiently and productively (because you cannot rely on maintenance to get things fixed). Trust me most people cannot come off the street and do the job good let alone enough to have the company making money. I see all the time new people brought in and they just do not have the skill sets to figure stuff out. It really takes basic common sense and attention to detail to get things working properly.

I am not saying it is rocket science, but someone you seem to think the average factory worker is some sort of dullard that is too stupid to do anything else. I happen to have an AAS; I was in the top one percentile of my class when I graduated. I was at one time hoping to start law enforcement for a time so that I could go to law school. Sadly though, I make more at the factory than I could in law enforcement by about 5k a year. I need that 5k and working the hours I do makes law school impossible.

Just because someone works at a factory does not mean they are lacking intelligence. Actually there are many that work with me that have degrees of all types. Factory work though does pay a decent amount and can give you time with your family.

I agree with the poster who says it is the unions fault. Seriously I would work for half the $35 an hour and be tickled. Come here Caterpillar I will work for over $17 an hour.


posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:06 PM
question, did the ceo cut his salary by half?

from what ive seen, its always the bottom that has to sacrifice. imagine if you will the ceo going into the labour nagotiations saying we have to cut your pay by 50% to keep the profit margin up. to prove this, i have cut my own salary by 50%. the union has no leg to stand on after that.

if cuts started at the top, with the people that can most afford it, and worked its way down, then labour unions have nothing to complain about.

ps. caterpillar ceo douglas oberhelman makes over $10 million a year.
edit on 3-1-2012 by stormson because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:12 PM

Originally posted by DJM8507
Capitalism innovates to maximize the efficiency of profit.

There are no other considerations.

Supply and demand is a consideration.

Maximizing the customer base is a consideration, which means considering the customer's needs and wants as well as maximizing profit.

Effectively competing against others selling the same product is a consideration, which in turn benefits the buyer who those competing for that buyers purchasing power will work to attract.

These few examples can be reduced to merely a concern with maximizing profits, but the converse of that is that capitalism also innovates to maximize purchasing the best possible product at the best possible price.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:20 PM
Will the Owners agree to take Home 50% of their Profits ? I Doubt it .

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by stormson

question, did the ceo cut his salary by half?

Why should he? They have averaged 30% growth year over year for the past two. Granted the percentages are much higher due to the very bad contraction..

The CEO's job is to ensure the corporation is profitable. Nothing else. If he doesn't return a profit, the Shareholders fire him. If he does, the Shareholders give him his job and a big fat paycheck.

That's how it works. CEO's are fired all the time "from the top down" because of poor performance.. you are not immune when you are a corporate executive. But if you fire from the top down while the corporation is doing good to raise profit margins well .. that makes no sense, there is a competition for executive level employees .. hence my last post, if well performing CEO's were a dime a dozen, they wouldn't be paid as much. Ultimately it's the Shareholders choice. And it's the Shareholder who takes the vast majority of the corporations profit.

(PS .. "unskilled" does not mean "stupid" it means you didn't buy .. I mean, earn .. a degree from a 4 year institution to be qualified for the job. Many factory jobs are very complicated, high tech even, but most don't require anything other than on the job training or specialization. I do agree it's unfortunate however that our society places an emphasis on purchased ... damn, I mean earned .. degrees. A higher education doesn't equate to a higher intelligence. )

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by bobw927

If employers were fair, there would be no need for unions.
With some humans being greedy, there has always seemed to be a collision course with management vs labour, greed raising its head on both sides. The few that spoil the whole.

And if this is a supply and demand issue as well, then lets see the CEOs and other company execs take the same pay cut. But you won't.

I don't know how long it takes to figure out when you pay the populace fair and decent wages, how it benefits the entire economy, that eventually leads to the demand for more supplies.

Until we stop buying the crap from China from stores like walmart, we are feeding the slave labour machines, and contributing to the corporate crap that is making a few very wealthy, at the cost of the quality of millions of lives.

edit on 3-1-2012 by ItsEvolutionBaby because: Please excuse Bob not sure how this ended up being a reply to you--

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Hey there everyone. Wow I've been a fan of ATS for over a year now and finally my first post, procrastination I suppose.

Now, I, didn't have alot of time to peruse through the whole thread but I always enjoy how people get so upset about how things work. Take Ontario for instance, the whole province has been propped up by the auto unions and insane wages, they have no problem voting a strike , but when a company has to cut its paying wage so people can still have a job to go to its a no go. Maybe, they want them to quit, and maybe its more cost effective for the company so they don't have to pay them out. Half is pretty darn harsh, but the way things are working out you should swallow a bit of your pride and live another day. Wait till there are only a hand full of jobs to pick from and see what happens. There are many towns in canada where, like a lot of other places, have only one relying infrastructure. Its crap, but its the eb and flow of industry, most cases propped up by government funds to keep the working man with an income. The only alternative is employment insurance which pays nill and costs everyone else.
Its the way the world revolves, and as long as people are constantly wanting 'more' we aren't going to remedy the problem. We've been living high on the hog for too long and now were surprised when the bottom falls out. Where was everyone when times were good and a floor sweeper was making as much as a trade men a few years ago, not up in arms saying that the economical practices were junk. Now its crunch time.

I personally havnt a clue as to what is going to transpire in the not too distant future, the writing on the wall doesn't look like its filled with prosperity. And like many other people I have a constant nagging as to what the whole logic is with the recent bills being signed and the reasoning behind it. Ignorance is bliss until your world is changed, I only hope for every individual that things can get back on track and we can get a system that allows everyone to still provide for their families.

Pardon the rant, and hope I stayed a bit on topic.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:08 AM
half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf of bread my friend!

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by badboybazza
half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf of bread my friend!

Half a load of crap is still a load of crap.

If those working for Caterpillar want to find a similar job that will pay them at the pay they were getting before Caterpillar did this then they should do so. All people have the right to contract. Caterpillar has the right to negotiate their rate of pay, and those working for Caterpillar have the right to negotiate their own pay.

Frankly, each individual should examine their own worth and determine if they are more valuable than the others around them. If they are, they should negotiate with Caterpillar, or find a company willing to pay their price, but no one should simply just accept a half a loaf of bread simply because someone else is threatening them with no loaf of bread.

Sometimes it is better to go hungry for a short time in order to ensure feast filled futures, than it would be to accept less out of fear of hunger.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:30 AM
It may be just a half a loaf this time, but how about next time.
if they can get away with it , they will do it.
people need to stick together more. All i see here is people arguing
the companies do whatever it takes to profit. even if it destroy the N.A. economy

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:33 AM
reply to post by Rockpuck

look at the board of directors. they are all inter related like some kinda inbred family. one of the board members is ceo of state farm. another a south american bottling company. you really think all these people that sit on each others boards are gonna play fair and not give each other raises? they are gonna take care of their own and to heck with the little guy.

DAVID L. CALHOUN, 54, Chief Executive Officer
DANIEL M. DICKINSON, 49, is currently Managing Partner of HCI Equity Partners (private equity investment)
EUGENE V. FIFE, 70, is currently Managing Principal of Vawter Capital LLC (private investment).
JUAN GALLARDO, 63, is currently Chairman of Grupo Embotelladoras Unidas S.A. de C.V. (bottling) and was formerly Chairman and CEO (1986-2007).
DAVID R. GOODE, 70, was formerly Chairman (1992-2006), President (1992-2004) and CEO (1992-2004) of Norfolk Southern Corporation (holding company engaged principally in surface transportation).

just some, for the rest go to

want more freaky stuff on how all these people are inter-related go to and click on "see board relationships".

also look into "golden parachutes" where ceos will run a company into the ground, get fired, and still get paid tens of millions of dollars (for FAILURE!).

edit on 4-1-2012 by stormson because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-1-2012 by stormson because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:48 AM
My workplace pulls the same crap. Hour Cuts over and over..

Yet the company posts Profit and record numbers over and over again. The fact is Companies are not content with "Profit" They have ONE GOAL. Thats beat last years profit numbers. Every year sales projections go up and up, and If they cannnot feasably hit this inflated number, they will cut hours, ect, to make sure there "profit" hits this magic number.

Business is stronger than ever, Sales are through the frikken roof, yet we need to cut this, and cut that. It's quite aggrivating when you look at the bigger picture, 15% of the money is invested in the business, the other 85% is skimmed into some lucky bastards bank account. If you werent such a jew you would invest more money into the company and watch your "profits" skyrocket. You need to spend money, to make money.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:56 AM
I know there are a lot of union bashers/haters on this site so please read these quotes from famous celebrities and politicians....they all ring true, I'm sure you will agree.

With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men."
Clarence Darrow

"All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms is treason. If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool. There is no America without labor, and to fleece the one is to rob the other."
Abraham Lincoln

"If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor."
Frank Lloyd Wright

"The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth."
Wendell Phillips

"The American labor movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America. Those who would destroy or further limit the rights of organized labor--those who cripple collective bargaining or prevent organization of the unorganized--do a disservice to the cause of democracy."
John F. Kennedy

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
Abraham Lincoln

My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: "We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing."
Mother Jones

edit on 4-1-2012 by brice because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 01:34 AM
as a stock holder in caterpillar, there are people rejoicing at this news and calculating in their heads how much money they'll make.

greed completely takes over. you forget peoples jobs are at stake, their families, happiness and lively hood.

that is the evil of the stock market, you start wishing for bad things to happen so you can profit.

i would gladly give up my few shares of this company if it means a real decent wage for these workers.

which i think $36 is. $16 is exploitation and poverty. the machinery they build are worth millions. pass it on the consumers, which can afford it.

the construction industry has been corrupting and profiteering from rigged bids and government contracts for decades.

like someone posted. why is no one in management taking a 50% pay cut. sitting on your ass and talking on the phone all day isn't as vital as busting your ass from 6 in the morning to quitting time trying to full fill deadlines and orders.

edit on 4-1-2012 by randomname because: (no reason given)

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