Friday, June 14, 2013

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CLXXXIII

Just three days after United Steelworkers Local 1343 and Caterpillar worked out a contract, Caterpillar decides to pull the rug out from underneath the workers:
Employees at Caterpillar’s South Milwaukee plant were notified today
that planned layoffs of 260 employees would go into effect on Monday, June 24.

The notification comes three days after a new, six-year pact was ratified by the members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1343.

As it stands, close to a third of the plant’s 800 employees will be placed on “indefinite layoff,” according to the company.


The statement from Caterpillar also says that a “vast majority of the South Milwaukee Manufacturing facility, including support and management employees” will be affected by two new, one-week temporary layoffs that were instituted with the new contract.

“The company can do temporary layoffs up to 10 weeks per year,” said Winklbauer. “The people that will be affected on the one week temporary layoffs will be eligible for $170 per week plus supplemental unemployment during the temporary layoff period.”
The company said that the layoffs stem from a downturn in the mining industry, showing that the haste of Scott Walker and the Teapublicans was nothing more than a giveaway to more of their corporate overlords. The mining bill had as much to do with creating jobs as did the reprehensible legalized sexual abuse bill they just passed.

The company did announce three months ago that they were going to lay these workers off.

I find the timing of all of this rather suspect.  The company knew three months in advance that there would be no more orders and they would have to lay off one third of their work force?

Oh, and pay no mind that the lay off just so happens to be timed to be about the time that AB 219, the bill that makes it harder to collect unemployment compensation was rammed through the legislature.

If I had the ear of the leadership of Local 1343, I would advise them to start looking for some collusion between Caterpillar and key state legislators.  I would also advise them to keep an eye open for recently trained scabs to start showing up.

I would say that there is more than a good chance that Caterpillar was bargaining in bad faith, knowing that the Republicans were going to help them with their vulture capitalism.


  1. Wisconsin has gone from a great dairy state to a stinky bunch of pigs slopping at the trough.

    People will catch a whiff of the down wind and either run for greener pastures, which is in progress, or have one heck of a pig roast in the next election. Their pig pen they have created is not appealing to anyone, Republican or not.

    1. I love your analogous comment, Anon. Thank you. :)

  2. So you're upset that mining worldwide is declining? Isn't that a GOOD thing for all of you environmentalists? Shouldn't the goal be to END all mining thus the cessation of mining equipment manufacturing?

    1. Or mining could be done responsibly. See how easy that is?