Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Electro-Motive Diesel's corporate greed

Caterpillar, which owns Electro-Motive, saw its CEO and chairman Doug Oberhelman earn $22.5 million in 2010, as Caterpillar's board gave him a stock grant worth $16 million.

The Vancouver Sun:

Hundreds of locomotive-making workers have been shut out of the Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. plant in London, Ont.

Workers showing up for a shift that was scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. on New Year's Day, found themselves locked out.

It's the second major lockout in the country to start 2012.

Talks broke down last week when an offer from the company proposed slashing starting wages to $16.50 an hour — which the union said is a 50 per cent cut — eliminating contributions to workers' pension plans and chopping other perks, such as child-care coverage and parental-leave top-ups.

"This is a case where our members have been locked out by corporate greed," Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents about 500 company employees in London, said in a statement.

"This is a serious attack on working people, their families and the greater community of London and the surrounding area."

A point of disagreement between the company and union was whether workers would be considered to have implicitly accepted the terms of the company's offer by showing up for work Monday.

Electro-Motive, owned by Caterpillar Inc., said it made the decision to lock employees out when the union changed its position that a strike would be called if an agreement was not in place.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illonois, recently reaffirmed its expectations for a profit of more than $4 billion US for 2011 on revenue of $58 billion US, which is expected to rise by 10 to 20 per cent this year.

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