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Forum Post: Caterpillar and the rapidly approaching death of the middle class

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 6, 2012, 10:07 p.m. EST by myows (133)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

http://www.washingtonpost.com/caterpillar-to-unions-drop-dead/2012/08/03/7af72d6c-da9f-11e1-9745-d9ae6098d493_story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/business/profitable-caterpillar-pushes-workers-for-steep-cuts.html?pagewanted=all

Prosperous companies demanding major givebacks of their workers. This is becoming a disturbing trend that's going to end with all of our children working for min wage and no benefits. Caterpillar is a prosperous company, as a matter of fact it's kicking ass, but that does not seem to stop the corporate suits from demanding major givebacks of the employees. Pay freezes, pension freezes, it's all fair game. The Caterpillar employees are on strike right now rather than sell future generations down the river.

There was just a one month lockout at Con Edison, another prosperous company, where the 11 million dollar a year CEO locked out 8500 employees and immediately canceled their health insurance! Their stock was at an all time high but the executives still wanted givebacks related to pensions, healthcare, and other things.. Governor Cuomo had to step into the negotiations to get them back to work.

Verizon is reportedly very close to locking out it's 45,000 employees.The company is a money making machine. The top 5 executives have been paid 350 million dollars over the past 5 years yet they are demanding everything under the sun back from the employees. Pensions, healthcare, sicktime, overtime etc.... And they are sending lots of American jobs to India and the Philippines.

Where does this end? I am trying to figure out if people are generally unaware of this or are they aware but just don;t care? I don't see too much outrage over this.

13 Comments

13 Comments


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[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 1 year ago

Most Americans simply don't want to accept the reality of worker exploitation. Instead they want to believe the fairy tale of a class-less society, in which everyman can rise from the squalor of a worker's life to the paradise of super wealth. I compare it to the Islamic myth of jihadists inheriting dozens of virgins in paradise. There's always somebody's pot at the end of the rainbow, and most people will chase it, until they realize the pot is just a dream planted by the ruling class for them to covet.

[-] 2 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

The corpoRATS won't be happy until we are a third-world nation and there is no one to stand up to their power. Evil, evil, evil.

[-] 1 points by myows (133) 1 year ago

Here's some more evidence for you, 22,000 AT&T workers just went on strike today because the profitable company is looking to take back pensions and cut healthcare. The CEO makes 25 million dollars a year and of course he doesn't consider his salary and his co executives to be any kind of drag on the company.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/07/att-brief-idUSL4E8J747Z20120807

[-] 1 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

This isn't a recent development, though. It's been going on since the early 90s and the animosity of those under attack in private employment has now in hopelessness manifested as jealousy and envy towards those in civil service; we are eating our own.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Well I for one share your outrage. I think its time that workers stop looking to the established labor unions and start acting on there own. Organizations like the AFLCIO are mearly the labor wing of the democratic party and only serve to funnell there members union dues into democratic party coffers.

[-] 1 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

Unions have lost there effectivness. They no longer have the will or capacity to rebel against the corporations Becoming part of the system has prevented them from being a true advocate for the workers.

[-] 1 points by myows (133) 1 year ago

Peter, you're right. The unions do support the Democratic party. Now let's talk about the corporate lobbyists and the many billionaires like the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson or that lady that asked Scott Walker about how she could help him make Wisconsin a "right to work" state. Where does their money go to? Do you have any opinion on this?

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Their money goes to which ever party they think will best serve there interests of course. The ones you mentioned usually lobby republicans. I don't particularly think that is he biggest problem with labor right now though. The unions have been funding the democratic party and knocking on doors for them for years and years and what's it got them? It's got them nothing. They need to return to be militancy that they had in the 30s whe the CIO swept through the country and led the biggest organizing drive in the history of the US. With leaders like Trumka they will only see there numbers decline further.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

It's somewhat ironic because it was only a few years ago that many, in response to outsourcing concerns, were pointing to Caterpillar as an example of America's manufacturing strength. There are fewer and fewer bastions left for those seeking skills level employment.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 1 year ago

It will end when people stop buying products from companies that have no interest or loyalty towards the United States. That's not that hard to understand.

China is prosperous because of America and if we continue to buy their products we will be second class to them.

We have to demand from the government more regulation on outsourcing and incentives for those who do build companies in America and employee people here.

Products that the consumer demand are the ones that have to be manufacturered here otherwise just going into business just to put people to work won't work.

[-] 0 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

Americans do not give a shit about anything.Except themselves as a rule.There may be a few exceptions.Which are far and few between.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 1 year ago

I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't think it is just Americans though, or even just humans. There are very, very few examples of species who care about other individuals outside of their immediate "family" unit. Evolution has taken place for millions of years. Just because we have become very advanced as a society does not mean our genes are any more advanced than they were 500 hundred years ago.

[-] 0 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

Yes.Human nature does not change no matter how advanced the tools become.