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

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 01:55 AM
If caterpillar was making considerable profits such cost cutting measures cannot be justified.While I do not like unions but pay of employees should reflect the profit or loss of company.But such actions are not justified.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:18 AM
Caterpillar (the multinational) may be making a healthy profit overall ... but this one plant is probably losing a lot of money. Which means other plants in other areas and countries are covering the losses.

This kind of cut basically says "we are shutting the plant because it can't support itself".

Someone in this thread said a welder with his own truck can make $90/hr ... that's true ... but out of that 90 bucks comes truck & equipment maintenance, fuel, insurance, liability, book keeping, consumable supplies, time spent generating sales/work, time spent fixing screwups, chasing down payment from customers, etc, etc.

Now if you have 3 or 4 people working for you ... well now you got $90/hr.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 03:22 AM
reply to post by area6

probably is a key word .If Caterpillar wishes to justify third party auditors will be needed to estimate the operational costs of the plant.I know a good bit about these practices and in the long term it will harm the economy .Caterpillar must provide proper justification on such sensitive issues.

Anyways ,I won't be buying Caterpillar equipment for my russian and australian farms.

Screw you Caterpillar.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 06:52 AM
reply to post by Vitchilo

Greed is going to make Western companies fall even faster. The $35/per hour mechanic will probably make a better product than the Brazilian or Mexican who is either poorly trained or has no incentive to do good work for bottom of the barrel wages.

You only get what you pay for.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 07:28 AM
I think what is getting lost in all this is if CAT offered a $5-$10 pay decrease and kept benefits, I am sure the workers would've accepted the deal. However, they are asking them to lower their wage by $15 PLUS cut their benefits. Benefits are a huge thing and many people need glasses, medication, etc.

This is happening in my hometown and they put the fences up before Christmas (the workers weren't locked out until January 1) so CAT has been playing this game for awhile. Some of the workers rotated shifts throughout the night to make sure CAT didnt sneak the locomotives and/or parts out to different factories.

Another thing is CAT is having a hard time finding workers for their new Muncie, IN plant because the wages are low and it's in the middle of nowhere. London workers were also sent down there to train some workers for a couple months. They trained them on skills that it took years for the London workers to hone.

I saw some people comment that these are factory line workers and they shouldn't get paid $35 but locomotives don't run down a line and each one is different so these require skilled welders, electricians, etc to do the job.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:26 AM

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

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

There are no other considerations.

...capitalism also innovates to maximize purchasing the best possible product at the best possible price.

To maximize profit is to stifle competition and extend product life cycles to ensure an efficient return. The most innovative product is not always the most profitable.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 12:21 PM
I hate when people say that an assembly line worker shouldn't be making X amount of money. I work in the same kind of environment and make $20/hr. Sure, some positions don't require schooling or advanced degrees but not every guy off the street kind do that type of work. These people don't work as hard as the higher ups in the company??? My co-workers and I deserve every penny they give us. Alas, it will all come to an end this year as our company was sold to a huge conglomerate and the new owners are moving the manufacturing part to China. Am I bitter? A little. Of course I don't think a company owes me a salary for life. It just hurts a little to know that a profitable company is moving away so the investors can make a bigger profit. It's a crappy situation all around.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 09:04 AM
For the record I'm not pro-union or pro-corporate. I think unions are useful when companies are being unfair but I also believe unions have driven up labor costs to an unsustainable level. As previously put, each locomotive is unique and therefore requires skilled workers. Since minimum wage in Ontario is $10/hr, paying skilled welders, machinists etc. only $16/hr does sound a little unfair doesn't it?

Why can't the executives take a 10% cut, and offer a 20% cut to the union? Screw 'responsibility to shareholders'! What about some common decency to mankind? The executives/shareholders wouldn't have a job if it weren't for these hard working people regardless where the plant is located. I can accept a contract offer that lowers wages/benefits but by 50%? It's just a little much to me. Besides, if Caterpillar actually was able lower their labor rates by 50% do you actually think that cut will get reflected in the sale price of the locomotives? Not likely, that extra money will just go to CEO bonuses and shareholder payouts.

Anyone want to hazard a guess at which factory is right next door? Try General Dynamics. Anyone think they'll be getting a miserable contract offer anytime soon?

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 11:44 AM
Nobody is buying locomotives nor will they in the foreseeable future.

$33.6 million annual labor costs doesn't compute when you're selling a couple locomotives annually for $3.2 million each.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 12:17 PM
Caterpillar is a well known brand not only in US, but ALL over the world.

Any country that has construction sites, you are bound to see a few Caterpillar products. The Corporation is making TONS of cash, and right sitting on it.

Competitors, espacially the japanese, are a few, but nothing compares to the Catepillar brand, which is a quality brand, well made and fully functional in every way, with significant improvements with each new model of product sold, compared to others.

It is the WORKERS, that made Catepillar what it is today - well known, trusted and reliable.

The Corporation has posted strong profits over the years, remarkable even IF the Canadian plant is not making money or to the bosses expected level.

This is not the fault of the workers. Blame it on the CEO and his management for not hitting higher targets or mismanagement of resources, such as using poor productivity slave workers that will only lead to poor quality and cutting of corners, losing market share.

But instead, the CEO and management gets hefty bonuses and salaries for their mistakes and poor performances, while the workers who made it possible for today's greatness of Catepillar gets shafted.

Happening not only to Catepillar, but to many once trusted and reliable corporations. Guess planet Earth is not only going through a booting of political leaders, but booting out of Corporations as well, so that new and more ethical ones arise. Time of great change.

May those workers who lost their jobs be not disheartened, but use their experiences, skills and knowledge to help competitors of Catepillar, other enterprises or create new ones and make them greater.

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by Vitchilo

When I saw this thread, I was like- DAMN! That must be one badass caterpillar!

But then I realized...

Maybe I should dye my hair back to blonde

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:15 PM
People want to know how someone can make so much per hour. well they are dedicated employees they get a pay raise and keep working. After 20 years or so the numbers get pretty impressive. it's a reward for sticking with the company,

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 07:26 AM
I was reading comments in the local paper and a couple people brought up something I completely forgot about.

In todays paper (Link) the story is about EMD workers asking the federal government to step in. The governments response is EMD is a private company and they don't have jurisdiction. However, when the flight attendants at Air Canada (private company) were threatening to strike, the federal governments jumped right in and blocked any strike action. How can the federal government pick and choose their battles?

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by Matt93

I believe they stepped into the Air Canada dispute because it is a 'federally regulated' company. Apparently the provincial government will offer a mediator to help resolve the dispute but the federal, provincial nor municipal governments will step in.

posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 07:41 AM

Originally posted by Matt93
. However, when the flight attendants at Air Canada (private company) were threatening to strike, the federal governments jumped right in and blocked any strike action. How can the federal government pick and choose their battles?

Canada's government/teacher/police retirement Trust Funds are the investors in private corporations who expect massive return for their Canada's government can pay its retiree's.

Canada's govt. retiree Trust Funds have investments all over the world.

Civilian "little people" suffer, lose jobs so govt. cronies live like their retirement

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 05:42 PM
I'm sure all they need to do is cut all the CEO's salaries by a couple of percent. This should cover the entire blue collar work forces' 50 percent salary deduction. No one gets hurt and its business as usual!

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:24 AM
Progress Rail just announced they are closing the plant in London, ON. I wonder how many workers are going to look back and wish they took the paycut so they would still have a job.

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:37 AM
reply to post by Tallwater2

Don't worry too much about this stuff. Let it roll off and just make do as best you can. It will come full circle before long. This "pandering to investors" thing is simply unsustainable. Between top management and the investor expectations, there's not much left for a company to work with. The camel's back will break soon enough. When they start going down all at once, we should throw a huge block party all over the planet of unemployed people. When the hangover wears off, we can start working on our own businesses, our own futures. What do we really want to do with our lives? What would make us really happy as individuals? Use these "unfortunate" events to create something from the ashes.

Those left on the hamster wheel aren't necessarily the lucky ones. We can do so much better when we have the opportunity to blossom. That won't happen on a factory floor.

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 02:02 PM
reply to post by DJM8507

To maximize profit is to stifle competition and extend product life cycles to ensure an efficient return. The most innovative product is not always the most profitable.

Outside Marxist dogma, maximizing profit is not synonymous with stifling competition. Maximization of profits is a prudent business move and there are plenty of ways to lawfully maximize profits, if it is lawful it has caused no harm...except to grossly offend the Marxist who believes plunder is better than profit.

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 02:08 PM
Despite the fees, Unions spoil people and may be the problem with why our economies aren't better. Getting paid to jack off to porn 9-5 at your desk in your office and the insurance from the union that they will protect "your" job just ruins the dual at-will nature of employment. People should be generally be laid off with 2 weeks notice pay just like expected to give just 2 weeks notice. One+ year contracts for general trade labor or janitors? and union insurance you cant lose your job practically no matter what is whats ruining western economies just for the leisure of lazy northamericans.

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