Wednesday, May 30, 2012

UPDATE ... No Surprise At Caterpillar ... Union Rejects Offer

As expected, the Joliet IAM union membership rejected Caterpillar's offer today.

My guess is this strike could be a really long one unless the union finds a way to give in gracefully.  And someday they will attempt to do just that.

Caterpillar Strikers Reject Revised Contract Offer has the updated story about the vote to stay on strike:

"JOLIET, Ill.—Strikers at a Caterpillar plant here, preparing for a long fight, overwhelmingly voted to reject a slightly revised contract offer from the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment.

About 81% of the 620 people who voted at a meeting of the local branch of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, known as the IAM, rejected the offer, following the advice of IAM leaders. That was down from a 94% rejection rate at a vote in late April, just before the union went on strike.

Caterpillar tweaked its offer last week after mediators tried to find a compromise, but strikers said the changes were minimal. Several strikers said after the vote that they expected a long struggle.
Steve Jones, an IAM district official, said after the vote that the union had told Caterpillar it was ready to resume negotiations. He said the company told him it saw no reason for a meeting. A Caterpillar spokesman said the company would release a statement later Wednesday."

Summing Up

I've often wondered why unions encourage their members to do dumb things. But they do.

I've also wondered why members do dumb things even though their union leaders encourage them to do so.

In any event, the Joliet Cat strikers will continue to lose pay unless and until they accept an offer from the company.

Meanwhile, I'll be willing to bet the ranch that the offer the union and employees eventually accept, whenever it occurs, will be a huge net loser for employees who take the time to compare (1) total lost pay from the time of the strike's inception until the employees return to work to (2) the total money differential in pay granted by the company between the first offer that was rejected and the eventual one that's accepted.

It always happens that way. Always.

Then the union leadership either declares victory anyway or talks about how hard they tried and how badly the employees were screwed by Caterpillar. Still, the employees lose.

What a strange world where high pay and high unemployment only cause union officials to mislead their membership into taking and then staying on the wrong road economically.

But even more strange is the fact that the membership follows.

Oh well, it's a free country except for the Caterpillar union members who would like to return to work instead of getting $150 weekly to picket and take charity from the church to feed their families.

But neither the union nor the Illinois labor laws permit or even encourage such reasonable behavior.

And for those who would like to return to work, their fellow union members would threaten their safety if they started to cross the picket line.

How sad.

Thanks. Bob.

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