Today the union voted to strike at the EMD London On. plant. This saves CAT the bother of locking them out and is probably then end of locomotive production in Canada.
The Globe and Mail wrote:Members of the Canadian Auto Workers union say they have voted in favour of a strike at Canada’s only locomotive manufacturing plant, owned by U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc.Read more at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-in ... le2287481/
The CAW says the company’s final offer would slash wages in half, result in drastic cuts to benefits and eliminate the pension plan – at a time when sales, profits and executive pay have soared to record highs.
It has accused the company of purposely trying to put workers out of jobs in order to shift production to the U.S. or Mexico.
Toronto Sun wrote: A protracted showdown with "ominous" implications looms at London's Electro-Motive Diesel, observers warn, after the locomotive-maker's new American owner locked out employees Sunday in a dispute fuelled by a wage-slashing contract offer.Read more at: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/01/01/50 ... tive-plant
The battle between the Candian Auto Workers union and U.S. equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. will be "long, drawn-out" and "volatile," with precedent-setting impact across Canada's labour movement, experts say.
The nearly 500 unionized workers were locked out Sunday, hours before their first shift after the holiday shutdown, and two days after rejecting a contract offer that would cut their wages and benefits in half -- amid fears the company plans to move production to a low-cost U.S. plant.
The Gazette wrote:Electro-Motive 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 childcare coverage and parental-leave top-ups.Read more at: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business ... story.html
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.
MEC407 wrote:What does this mean for the railroads? Will Cat/Progress use the lower wages as a way to lower their prices, in attempt to gain back market share that has been lost to GE? Or will they keep prices the same and simply enjoy higher profits?I think CAT is going after market share. Two things: GE gained market share after their quality improved and there prices were always lower; and GE tried to negotiate converting a out of service plant they owned into a locomotive plant in Massachusetts and failing in that bought the plant in Fort Worth Texas. Another thing is that in the marine engines and generation engines EMD has always been too high but as used engines the price is higher due to demand same in locomotives - go figure.
The London Free Press wrote:Many Electro-Motive workers would not only earn half of what they had been making if they accept the contract offer on the table, they'd earn about half the wages of General Electric locomotive employees doing similar jobs in Erie, Penn.Read more at: http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012 ... 42821.html
DutchRailnut wrote:Caterpillar did same a few years back at their main production facilities, basicly they are scum and feed of the workers.If that's so won't they be better off taking their "valuable skills" elsewhere?
The Star Press wrote:Workers at the Canadian plant last week told The Star Press they're not optimistic about the future of the plant. They worry that its fate has already been decided regardless of any show of support.Read more at: http://www.thestarpress.com/article/201 ... /201150302
They also predict a dark future for workers in Muncie.
"In Muncie, where they pay $12 an hour, who's to say they won't say, 'This place isn't going like it should go' and cut the pay even more?" one worker said.
The London Free Press wrote:The lockout enters its 16th day Monday, with the CAW planning a massive rally this Saturday in London in support of the workers.Read more at: http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012 ... 48861.html
The standoff -- some fear the company could move the London work to a low-cost Progress plant in Muncie, Ind. -- is the kind of fight Caterpillar observers have seen before.
"Cat has no hesitation to take on its workforce with the goal to reduce wages. There is no reluctance to go head-to-head with the union," said Chris Townend, a senior labour official with the United Electrical Workers in Washington, who doesn't represent Caterpillar workers but has studied the company's labour history.
"It is a rogue company that will wage war with its workers to get what it wants. We now have a massive number of workers here who work full-time and live in poverty."
RickRackstop wrote:Some of us recall that it was GM MANAGEMENT who fostered the pattern of giving the rank and file whatever they wanted...to maintain labor peace.Jtgshu wrote:How were labor relations inbetween EMD and its workers before Caterpillar took over? Judging by the benefits they had, id assume decent....
This is a holdover from the GM days and look what happened to them. CAW has been cruis'n' for a bruis'n and this is it.