After posting record revenue of $60.1 billion and boosting CEO pay by 60 percent, Caterpillar demands concessions from workers
Workers at an Illinois plant for the mega manufacturer Caterpillar have been on strike for a month after rejecting a concession-heavy contract proposed by the company. Yesterday, workers overwhelmingly rejected a second Caterpillar offer, by a vote of 504-116.
According to union officials, the contract “provided no raises, eliminated the defined benefits pension program, weakened seniority rights and required machinists to pay higher contributions for health care.” All of this, at a time when the company is making record profits. In fact, Fortune Magazine recently said the company is “crushing it” when it comes to profitability.
At the same time that it is refusing to give its workers a fair raise, the company saw fit to increase its CEOs pay by 60 percent:
The annual compensation of Caterpillar Inc.’s chairman and chief executive rose 60 percent in 2011, as the company posted a record revenue of $60.1 billion. Douglas Oberhelman earned $16.9 million in 2011, a figure that includes salary, bonuses, stock and option awards and retirement plan contributions.
[…] The typical American worker would have to work 244 years in order to earn what the average CEO makes in just one year. Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay.
– Think Progress
How dare ‘workers’ ask for living wages and benefits from a company to which they’ve contributed their labor and production? Remember it’s definitely not greed when corporate CEOs pocket all the profits for themselves — and so what if workers contributed towards that success — that’s just the way America works!