Skip to comments.Union Workers Strike At Illinois Caterpillar Plant (Joliet, Il)
Posted on 05/07/2012 12:24:07 PM PDT by robowombatEdited on 05/07/2012 1:00:52 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — About 800 union workers who rejected Caterpillar Inc.'s latest contract offer walked off the job Tuesday at a plant in Joliet.
Workers with picket signs lined up outside the plant early Tuesday, just hours after their contract expired. The employees, part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are asking for better wages and health care. They voted Sunday to reject the Peoria-based company's latest contract offer.
(Excerpt) Read more at manufacturing.net ...
“Do you support paying someone $25 an hour for a job that’s only worth $13 an hour?”
If the $25/hour worker has 20 years’ experience, I don’t know that it is $13/hour work anymore. I don’t know what to think about these situations, because just as the company may decide it is more profitable to re-locate to a right-to-work state (or Red China), workers can often deduce they are better off on public assistance than with a paycheck. I’m not advocating this, but $13/hour in NJ would be nothing for a 40 year-old worker; they would struggle for the rest of their lives for some basic necessities that would be given to them for free or at a discount (legitimately) if they weren’t working at all.
I’m the last one to support unions, but have often said that we’re being reduced to the status of Red Chinese peasants. $25/hour for a 40 year-old worker (with 20 years on the job) is difficult enough; $13 per hour is just ridiculous. Anyone who really believes the free market will work this out should keep in mind that while it “working it out” Americans have basically stopped breeding and their scabs are being imported by the millions - the free market at work.
There does have to be a balance; we can’t compete with Asians who will never own a home or automobile, have more than one child, or have the right to vote.
When you work for a private company, you come to agreement on wages with your employer or you quit and offer your services elsewhere.
Labor unionism is a government-supported violation of private property rights and a relic of Marxism. How anyone on a conservative board can support them is beyond me. They should be illegal.
“Thats called a race to the bottom which eliminates the middle class”
You’re absolutely right, and this has brought about demographic changes that occur while our middle class disappears which are irreversible. While many people think the free market will solve the wage question, workers earning basic sustenance don’t breed; many people are unhappy with the resulting importation of millions of replacement workers without considering why they are being brought in.
People can argue until they’re blue in the face about what is a fair wage, but within a few generations (not nearly as far out as predicted) the descendants of the original European settlers will be extinct. No violence or race wars; they’ll just “free market” themselves out of families.
Bet everyone in Texas is so excited a $13.00 an hour employer is coming to town. Not even enough to pay the utilities on a double wide.
These folks are building heavy equipment; you want some dufus on the floor at $12.50 an hour?
What I find interesting is that if the articles are accurate, Cat thinks the the economy is going to suck for the next 6 years since they aren't offering any pay raises.
I was referring to the information in comment # 27.
In any case, no pay raises while prices rise equals pay cuts. If somebody worked for the equivalent of 100 gallons of gasoline (or 50 pounds of beef, or 20 cartons of cigarettes) per week, is now working for 75% of that, they’ve taken a pay cut.
Im not pro-union, this is not a union issue to me, its about paying an honest wage for honest work, wages for building heavy equipment is worth more than $12.50 /hr. Remember when in Japan the highest paid in the company was making 20 times more than the lowest wage. Everyone worked together for the good of the company as it should be. But when greed overcomes, there is no unity, only slaves and fat cats. Yes unions and the Democratic left killed Detroit. You see, you cant have one extreme or the other, there must be balance.
I was a union member once and have no dog in this show but I have lived their life and totally understand where they are coming from.
In this thread Im talking about the wages for workers who build heavy equipment. If this was your plant are you telling me youd hire the $12.50 workers to build your million dollar equipment? Good luck with that?
I worked at Cat in Joliet back in ‘53. Swept floors mostly while learning how to use a CandC and all the other machines. Hones, lathes, radial drills, etc. Great times. Was greatful for the experience.
And I am not pro-union! Im just standing for the working guy who has seen his 20 years of loyal devotion to a company stripped away while the fat cats walk off laughing with their pockets full. Greed forcing slave wages on the desperate. Is that what you want in America?
Nonsense. If I pay employees $4 an hour I will have a $4 an hour product made by people worth only $4 an hour. If my competitor sells a similar product, and they pay their employees $6 an hour, they can be more selective. The employees will be forced to work harder and make a better quality product in order to keep their job. In effect, you get what you pay for. The consumer has the option in quality.
Further, eliminating the minimum wage removes false pricing platforms and causes products to be cheaper. While employees would be getting paid less, their money would actually go farther. It would also enable American businesses to better compete with slave labor countries, such as China, that still have to overcome shipping costs.
When Henry Ford first started he wanted to pay his workers enough so they could afford to buy a Model T. When you reward an employee based on his effort, they strive to do better to make more money (or they get fired and a more efficient/competent employee is hired); the effect is win-win. The employer gets a better product and more efficient employees; the employees receive better pay and incentives.
If an employer choses to pay his employees basic sustenance and "race to the bottom", he will quickly find himself out of business as no one wants his inferior product and no one is willing to work for him. The smart employees will look for better opportunities vice maintaining the status quo. There is no better motivation than necesity.
If you pay everyone the same no matter what, there is no reason to strive or work harder....minimum quota. If you make it near impossible to fire an employee because the union, you will get lackluster performance where the employee does the bare minimum; after all, it isn't worth the effort to fire him. Socialism has failed in every form each and every time it was tried. If you try to make everything "equal" and "fair," everyone will just wind up equally poor as business after business fails due to the ever rising cost of "benefits."
Case in point.......Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. How is the "middle class" doing those cities? Aren't, or I should say "weren't" since the parasites killed most of the viable hosts, they solid union towns?
I cant find any rebuttal from the company
Caterpillar wouldn't have any trouble making one of sufficient size. They specialize in super-sized equipment and the specs on crowbars shouldn't be all that complicated and probably can be made verrrry cheaply.
It's called "the free market." Let states be "right-to-work" and get rid of the minimum wage. Equilibrium will be reached. There is a reason America became one of the most profitable countries in the history of the world without conquest and looting. You have the right to success, and you have the right to failure; you are guaranteed neither....but should achieve either based on your own merit.
People have forgotten that reason and with it, their faith in what made this country great.......our current situation is the result. But at least we'll be equally poor.
In my view, when Im standing on my hill looking out at all that was built, its not the $$$ in my bank account Im proud of but rather whats truly worthwhile. All the families I helped by providing decent paying jobs and in return they helped me build the most productive cog factory in the world. That to me is wealth.
I’m not advocating a minimum wage or unionization or anything like that; all of the toys you mention are irrelevant as Americans now struggle to keep a roof over their heads, buy groceries, and buy the gasoline so they can get to their jobs that let them do that. I’m not in a union, and turned down the opportunity to join one when I was in high school & college.
Argue it all you want; I have children, and think the price is worth paying. I’m tired of people saying they can’t afford them, and in the next breath whining about all of the foreigner being shipped in (as a direct consequence of their choices).
Whatever you want to say about wages, I know I have a mechanic that wants to fix things on my car (that aren’t pressing, but will have to be dealt with), a dentist that wants to fix things with my teeth (that aren’t pressing, but will have to be dealt with), a neighbor that wants to fix things on my house (that aren’t pressing, but will have to be dealt with), and all of them will do without (as will I) because our wage situation in this country is working out so well.
Barack Obama is a minion of Satan as far as I’m concerned, but people shouldn’t underestimate the desperation that led many well-intentioned Americans to vote for him. Taking the same approach will give us four more years of him and his Bolshevism.
You have the right to success, and you have the right to failure; you are guaranteed neither....but should achieve either based on your own merit.
unions prevent this and are like a disease to the company
Skilled labor isn’t going to work for $13 per hour plus benefits. It has to get a whole lot worse before that happens. Unskilled labor is a bit different. Some of these factories haven’t figured out how to automate some processes and need “unskilled” labor to perform some crucial tasks.
I didn’t see where they want to cut the pay of the 20 year vets, just keeping the lower tier pay the same. I’m sure there is room in negotiations. I also see they want to shift pension money AWAY from the union to a 401K plan.
Unions are broke and corrupt and if I were an employee, I’d rather have a 401K that I can take with me rather than waiting to get a pension that might not be there.
Time to move the company to a RTW state, across the state line to Indiana comes to mind.
Caterpillar was essentially bribed by Gov. Quinn not to relocate two years ago with a bunch of tax breaks. Now the union is flexing its muscles. Time for Cat to abandon this accursed state an relocate to a right to work state. Screw the union thugs. Shutter the plant and move out bag and baggage.
It seems obvious the plant must be moved. Mexico, or overseas, maybe. Somewhere the Democrat union scum can't destroy the company.
Get a grip.
It's more about the bennies (health care) than the wages.
The employees, part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are asking for better wages and health care.
So, you support “minimum wage” laws?
workers are being driven out of the work force by lack of jobs, but also by lack of GOOD jobs....
I generally hate unions but a guy should be able to work 40 hrs and make a decent living...
you know if you're an illegal, you don't get car insurance or worry about health care...its all free...
but the young American worker....zilch..nothing....
I feel very bad for todays' young people...that can't win for losing...
best advice I guess is to go get a cushy govt job that you can't get fired from with defined pensions and great health care...hell, we can all be govt workers...
I called bs on it then and I call it now.....
most of these ceo's are just back slapping golf buddies of someother back slapping golfer...
they vote on each others boards to keep the big money rolling in...
its crony capitalism....
those with govt pensions/jobs/etc seem to be immune to the real world....
you know, one could go on SSD and earn more than $13 an hour....
I do support a “minimum wage” (though I don’t know what it should be); I think “living wage” laws are something completely different and more destructive.
The history of this country has shown that if companies can make you work 7 days a week, buy all of your necessities and rent your housing from the same company, and have you somehow indebted to them at the end of each pay period, they will. While people today point at European socialism as a terrible failure, the fact is that their system worked from the Industrial Revolution for over a hundred years while they supplied the globe with finished products; it was dragged down by entitlements and stagnant populations (as our system now is), but the fact is that they were competitive for a long time with a working balance between their workforces and the employers.
Americans today fail to realize we are in a similar situation to that faced by Europe years ago; when the plight of the average person has fallen to a certain point, they resort to communism as a means to address it (hence the election of Obama in 2008). European governments took steps to ensure that their workers weren’t idled by the Third World (with some success), while our governments were quite content to not just send our jobs overseas. At some point “globalization” has to be viewed as the threat that it is to our country and way of life; there is absolutely no defense/excuse for the destruction of our manufacturing base, and no reason anyone should expect Americans to be content with their daily bowl of noodles in their rented apartments with their leased cars.
I don’t know what the answer is, but we haven’t found it yet.
Tier one & tier two references hire date.
You are a fool.
A company does not owe a worker anything beyond a paycheck in exchange for his labor. I say this as an employee, not a business owner.
If I do not like what an employer offers, I can leave, vote with my feet. If I agree to work for a specific wage package, then I had best get to work and earn it.
Strikers should lose their jobs at that company permanently. Period.
It has always been said that unions had a purpose ealry on, but they have always been violent in their actions. I would never, never participate in a union, and again, these folks should be fired. Post haste.
Why does any company still make things in Illinois?
I mean, really.
Basically management’s wealth should be redistributed?
Top fund in their 401 is Caterpillar Inc. Common Stock (51%)
Not good for the workers.
You have no right to demand anything as an employee beyond your pay which you agree to, or not.
As to the individual items:
No pay raise for 6 years - Look at increased costs due to increased Gov’t controls/regulations WHICH THESE WORKERS, BEING UNION, AND THEREFORE DEMOCRAT VOTERS, THEY VOTED FOR THESES COSTS, THERFORE THE PAY FREEZE.
Increased HealthCare premiums. THEY VOTED FOR THIS.
Senioroity rights. WHO CARES? How about an employers rights to fire/layoff an unproductive worker even if he is most senior?
“Supplemental” workers - WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME THAT I MUST JOIN A UNION TO WORK?
Pensions - I would not TRUST a company with my pension anyway, let me decide how to provide for myself.
Unions are populated with FOOLS!
Ihave seen both sides of the fence, Unions are evil, plain and simple.
You want a strong middle class? Do it by allowing industry, stop killing it and driving it out of this country.
You cannot build a company, build a middle class through EXTORTION. I keep my job by doing it well, I have the wage I do because I am worth it. Period.
Their 401K plan is rated among the most generous.
I really don’t like folks who make a living just pushing money around - not providing leadership, or, as far as I can tell, creating or enabling the creation of goods and services.
But the truth is, that the job market currently stinks on ice, and that reality will be reflected in any new contracts. Unions, including this group have to deal with this fact.
If that is wealth to you, and it should be, then I do not understand your ‘stance’.
There is definitely corporate greed, and it is only matched by unionized worker greed.
Dteroit was ‘raced to the bottom’ by union greed.
The company is not bargaining in good faith. One must have lived on both sides of the tracks to understand the other, honest communication is key. Corporate greed is demanding unreasonable request here and forced this strike.
And YES, seems like anything the left touches it destroys.
Bargaining in good faith? What a nasty lefty term that is.
You ‘bargain’ when you are interviewing and accepting a job position. You like the offer, accept it. You don’t? WALK.
I have, at one time, belonged, temporarily, to a union, in Illinois. They screwed us everywhich way but loose AND took our dues money so they could do it.
Unions and their extortion mentality belong on a dung heap. I have the job I do, the wage I do because I do my job. Not because I try to strong arm the company.
That's a whole other issue. I consider myself to be an economic nationalist....unfortunately "Nationalism" became a bad word after World War II. But maybe Europe is starting to wake up and realize that Nationalism is the natural order of things.
One could rob banks, too.
Want more money? Increase and improve your skill level and EARN it.
Ask Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
It's called 'The Third Way".
Dude, based on your post to me I think you are on the wrong website.