Caterpillar strike highlights injustice Occupy Wall Street is fighting

Posted on May 2, 2012


Caterpillar strike highlights injustice Occupy Wall Street is fighting

Far from the mass demonstrations,machinists at construction giant Caterpillar in Joliet, Ill., have walked off the job. Some 800 of 2,000 employees are represented by Local Lodge 851 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, which objected to a contract offer that keeps wages flat for six years, raises health care premiums, strips seniority rights and substitutes a 401(k) plan for the company-supported pension plan.

Times are tough — why don’t those machinists just suck it up? Well, for one thing, Caterpillar is not a company on the ropes: It gave its CEO a 42 percent hike in compensation last year, to $14.8 million. According to one analysis of Caterpillar’s financial picture, the company’s net income rose 83 percent in 2011 to $4.9 billion, while its revenue grew 41 percent to $60.1 billion.

Posted in: People's Rights