Caterpillar’s Progress Rail Services unit is ceasing operations at the city’s Electro-Motive Canada diesel locomotive factory, two months after Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza said company officials assured him they had no intention of closing the plant. ...
The closing infuriated Mr. Lewenza, whose union represents the plant’s workers. Caterpillar had demanded pay cuts of 50 per cent in many job categories, elimination of a defined-benefit pension plan, reductions in dental and other benefits and the end of a cost-of-living adjustment.
“I’ve never had a situation where I’ve dealt with such an unethical, immoral, disrespectful, highly profitable company like Caterpillar,” Mr. Lewenza said in a telephone interview Friday as he drove to London from Toronto to meet with the workers.
He said that during bargaining in December, he told the company’s negotiators: “If it’s in your business plan to close us, don’t punish us, let’s work out a closure agreement. They said: ‘We have no intention of closing the facility.’ ”
In the current dispute one of the contention points is that new hires start at 11$ and get raises to 17 over time. Less than current workers are getting now, the union is against that. They are fighting for people who don't even have jobs yet.
posted by Max Power
In what respect, Charlie? (Norway and Luxembourg benefit from oil and financial services, respectively; among very large economies ours is the most productive by far).
Second, it's not outlandish to talk about privilege in an argument where pro-labor lefties are saying, essentially, that it's better jobs stay in the US than go to $OTHER_COUNTRY, especially when those relocating jobs are responsible for dramatically higher living standards in those other countries. "No, Chinese laborer, you have to continue living in your Stalinist concrete block apartment so US laborers can make $50 an hour" doesn't seem inherently liberal, at least not to me.
In general, you're right. But when growth is negative, zero, or slow (as in, right now) that becomes impossible. And even if growth exists, it takes time for markets to do their thing and spread the fruit of growth around. Upthread, someone mentioned that as Chinese labor costs achieve parity with ours, more manufacturing jobs will likely come to and/or stay in America - with the added benefit that there'll be a Chinese middle class and an American middle class buying stuff.
... CAT could completely replace its factory workers inside of two weeks....
danl: Ok I'll be the unpopular one. If my employer started enacting things like this I didn't like, I would do whatever it took to get another, better job. Why is this not the preferred, recommended, standard answer in cases like this? Caterpillar would have no workforce, and the employees would be better off.
Perplexity: It seems like a very obvious question would be: how do the contract / wages / conditions / whatever compare for these workers versus other Caterpillar workers?
saulgoodman: Somehow European companies have still been eating our lunch for years.
dgran: Part of the problem is that the people who care about are very unlikely to have any influence on the corporation.
moammargaret: You do know that workers on strike don't get paid, right?
IAmBroom OK, let me give you some context. Imagine you are a 30-year Caterpillar employee. Born and raised in the factory town* where Caterpillar has one of its many worldwide factories, it is either the major employer, or the major industrial employer.
valkyryn: It's a mathematical fact that not every country in the world can be a net exporter.
downing street memo: "No, Chinese laborer, you have to continue living in your Stalinist concrete block apartment so US laborers can make $50 an hour" doesn't seem inherently liberal, at least not to me.
Is everyone using this term doing so mockingly? Is there anyone here who did not bust their ass getting educated from an early age? Is there anyone here who does not work their ass off to maintain a good standard of living? How can you mock such things?
JackFlash : This would be funny if this weren't coming from a lawyer that is protected from free competition by the richest and most powerful union in the country....
gyc: This is so funny how wrong this is. If ABA was trying to restrict the number of lawyers approved by ABA-accredited law schools, there would not be over 200 ABA-accredited law schools in the country.
JackFlash: Well, the ABA in conjunction with the laws schools they regulate. These are valkyryn's words: "Law schools are reducing their class sizes because a huge chunk of their graduating classes--well in excess of the 8% national rate--for the last three years are unemployed or not employed in jobs requiring a law degree."
You know, people went to jail for trying to limit the number of memory chips manufactured to control prices, but apparently law school deans can plan price-fixing schemes with impunity.
before widespread unionism, massive growth in the economy had still left workers in terrible living conditions.
But clearly even your falsely limited definition of the purpose of unions has not been fulfilled.
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