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Machinists Union Rejects Latest Concession-Packed Offer From Caterpillar

It’s been a tumultuous six months for Caterpillar employees who have been wrestling with the company’s disinterest in good faith bargaining in North America. The company, which cemented its place in the uber-corporate pantheon by dodging $2 billion of U.S. taxes last year, kicked off 2012 by locking out Canadian workers and demanding a 50% wage slash before moving their operation to Indiana. Then, 780 Joliet, Illinois workers were forced to go on strike when an $8/hour wage cut was suggested.

Yesterday, the latest news came via the International Association of Machinists, the union representing the workers:

The latest offer contained few changes and was rejected by members 504-116.

“Both offers from Caterpillar included deep cuts to members’ pay and benefits in addition to unprecedented language that would allow the company to ‘modify’ wages according to their own assessment of market conditions,” said District 8 Business Representative Steve Jones. “There is no good reason for a company that made $4.9 billion in profits last year and $1.5 billion in the first quarter of this year to try and shake down their own employees like this.”

One reason may be to pay for increased compensation for Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman, whose pay jumped by 60 percent in 2011, to nearly $17 million.

According to MSNBC, the average American CEO made $9.6 million in 2011.


2 Comments on “Machinists Union Rejects Latest Concession-Packed Offer From Caterpillar”

  1. Hold out! You’re not alone! I’m not union but I support you! I’m spreading the word for others to have a better understanding!

    Morris, IL

  2. “In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,

    Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.

    We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old

    For the union makes us strong.” – Solidarity Forever

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