Skip to comments.Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana’s Right To Work (Update: Georgia)
Posted on 02/18/2012 7:02:34 AM PST by KeyLargo
Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indianas Right To Work
February 17, 2012
Caterpillar digging into Indiana
Caterpillar has been a mainstay Illinois-based company for generations but no longer. The power and influence of big labor has impacted the company for too long, damaging its bottom-line and hurting workers.
Now that Illinois neighbor, Indiana, has become a Right to Work state, Caterpillar is exploring their options, according to The Detroit News Robert Laurie:
Back in 2009, Barack Obama announced that Caterpillar had promised to rehire some of its laid-off workforce if his stimulus proposal passed. This week, the nations largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment announced that it would be moving a factory from Canada to Indiana. In the process, it will create 450 new jobs in the state.
Youd think the president would be happy, but this is not quite what he had bargained for. Take note, Governor Snyder. Caterpillars move came almost immediately after Indiana passed a right-to-work law, which will make union dues voluntary in the state. Labor officials claim Right To Work will deplete union funds, making it much more difficult for them to organize factories.
Coincidence? Workers who were formerly employed at the London, Ontario factory have been locked out since the beginning of the year after their union refused to accept pay cuts which would have kept the operation profitable. As a result of Big Labors obstinance, these jobs have been permanently eliminated and the plant relocated. The work will now be done in Muncie, [Indiana].
Big business has already been fleeing Quinns state after he signed a massive 2011 tax hike. Illinois had been in the running for a new Caterpillar facility of its own, one that would bring a whopping 1,400 jobs to the area by relocating a factory currently operating in Japan.
(Excerpt) Read more at nrtwc.org ...
Fri, Feb 17 2012
Feb 17 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc has picked a site near Athens, Georgia, for a plant that will build small tractors and excavators, investing $200 million to shift some production from Japan, the machinery maker said on Friday.
The facility will employ 1,400 people once it is fully operational in about five years. Construction will begin in the next 45 days.
Another 2,800 jobs will be created among suppliers and other employers, according to the company and Georgia state officials.
“Labor officials claim Right To Work will deplete union funds, making it much more difficult for them to organize factories. “
Congrats, IN and GA!
Interesting. So Caterpillar can move but Boeing can’t build a new factory in a right to work state?
Wonder if the NLRB is gonna let this happen. Remember what they did to Boeing when they moved their production plant. I can’t see them (NLRB) letting this stand without some kind of hassle.
Doug Oberhelman is chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc.
Why job creators skip Illinois
By Doug Oberhelman
February 12, 2012
Caterpillar Inc. has deep roots in Illinois. Over the years we’ve employed tens of thousands of Illinoisans, including the 23,000 working here today. My roots in Illinois are also deep. I attended public schools here, went to college in Decatur and I’ve spent the bulk of my career in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois is Caterpillar’s home, and it is my home.
I’m pleased to be part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s new export council, which I hope will help Caterpillar and other Illinois companies increase exports, which support so many jobs.
Export demand played a huge role in Caterpillar’s 2011 decision to invest in two of our large Illinois factories, investments totaling $840 million. Sometimes exports drive investment decisions, other times it may be logistics.
More often, the issues I will outline below keep Caterpillar from investing in our home state.
Despite the fact that we announced plans for dozens of new factories in the last few years and our United States workforce increased by more than 14,500 in the past 10 years, we haven’t opened a new factory in Illinois in decades. Our Illinois workforce is at the same level it was 10 years ago. Caterpillar recently informed several Illinois communities that they are not in the running for a new factory we will build in the U.S., ultimately adding 1,400 jobs work that’s now done in Japan. In that case, logistics was a key factor, but even if it were not the case, when Caterpillar and most other companies look to locate a new factory in the U.S., Illinois is not in the running.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
About 10 months ago I wrote a letter to Illinois political leaders expressing my hope that the state would undertake long-term, fundamental reforms so Illinois could compete for jobs and long-term business investment that drives growth.
To date, we haven’t seen much change......
It’s difficult to believe that Boeing’s HQ move from WA to Chicago was based on any valid business reasoning.
Boeing builds lots of things. They have space, military, commercial jets, etc. Their manufacturing plants are all over the US and overseas partners. Having their corporate HQ in Chicago made sense because it put it in the middle of the US where they were closer to their plants. Plus the time zone differences. Plant operations say in Georgia were closing at 5pm when it was 2pm in Seattle. So from a logistical position it was a smart move. And it only involved about 125 people in corporate. The Seattle Times made some big deal about Boeing moving when it was just the HQ. Hope this helped.
Great Job Caterpillqr!!!!!!
Great Job Caterpillar!!!!!!
President Barack Obama, left, is introduced by Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Owens at the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009.
So, Owens bedded with dogs and the company woke up with fleas. Now the new CEO will not be invited to the White House.
Which city in Indiana is getting the new factory?
The article refers to a new CAT plant in Muncie, Indiana in addition to the planned CAT plant in Athens, GA.
Progress Rail Announces Grand Opening of Muncie, Indiana Locomotive Assembly Operation
ALBERTVILLE, Ala., Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Almost one year to the date of announcing its decision to locate a locomotive manufacturing facility in Muncie, Indiana, Progress Rail Services Corporation (PRSC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), officially opened its Muncie operation.
Looks like the fix is in for Daniels as our nominee.
Just kidding. I can’t stand Daniels because of the way he sold off his toll road (and his arrest) - but he did get this one right.
The Canada union wouldn’t bargain for months, CAT locked them out on Jan 1, the union wouldn’t budge, and CAT closed the plant moving the work to Muncie, IN.
FWIW the Muncie wage rate is about half the union rate, $15/hr vs 30. Given the severity of the Baraqqi Depression, CAT is having no problem finding folks here in Indiana.
The NLRB will have a hard time stepping into the middle of this one, since Caterpillar is moving production from Canada and Japan to the United States. If it was from Illinois to Georgia, that'd be another story (and a pretty dark one at that..) Once those two other plants are up and running, Caterpillar can then increase production at those two facilities and decrease work in Illinois again without hassle, as it is simply 'balancing the workload' between plants.
I'm sure that the NLRB is fuming over this, of course, and I'll expect some job actions by big labor against Caterpillar while these two plants are under construction to try to strong arm the company into labor concessions and work guarantees for the Illinois factory with the NLRB's support.
In the long run, we need to remember that Obama's already got his campaign war chest, strangling the economy coming into the fall elections will serve to starve his opposition from being able to amass money as well. Right now, they're happy as clams to have massive amounts of money being spent by Romney to try to float his way to the nomination, and wish that he had stronger competition to drain even more money away from the eventual Republican nominee.
Maybe they were trying to send a message to the Washington State jamokes that think businesses are there for government and labor unions to pilfer?
Unless something has changed since midweek, Wilmington NC is in a strong position to land that one, with a decent underutilized, nonunion port nearby. There's also a big Caterpillar plant under construction right now, between Greensboro and Winston-Salem in Kernersville, NC.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.