NFU Appalled CAT Workers Threatened With More Than 50% Pay Cut

Saskatoon, Sask. - The National Farmers Union is offering its full support to Caterpillar workers at the Electro-Motive Plant in London Ontario.

"We are shocked that one of the most profitable corporations in the world, making $1 billion in profits in a single quarter alone, is threatening its workers with a 50% pay cut, as well as cuts to other benefits," said NFU president Terry Boehm. "This is devastating to workers and their families. How are they to cope with a loss of income this severe?" he asked.

"The Electro-Motive plant manufactures railway locomotives and is profitable on its own. The plant was acquired by Cat only recently, and now they think they can break the union and impoverish workers in Canada," Boehm continued. "It is extremely disconcerting that the executives at Cat think that they have the right environment in Canada to treat workers in this way," emphasized Boehm.

"These workers were not earning excessive rates of pay at $35.00 an hour, but now they are being asked to work for $16.50 an hour. This is not much above minimum wages in many parts of the country," said NFU Vice President Don Mills.

"Farmers understand that workers spend their wages in our communities and pay taxes, which keep up the infrastructure that we all benefit from. Unions and workers support local farmers directly by buying produce from them at local farmers' markets and direct from their farms. Cat's attack on their workers is an attack on all of us," stated Ann Slater NFU Region 3 Coordinator.

"This is completely unacceptable coming from a corporation with $58 billion in annual sales and huge annual profits. Does their CEO who is earning $10 million a year really need to intimidate workers in this way?" asked Boehm. "This is irresponsible behaviour no matter how you measure it. It is bad industrial relations, it is bad corporate citizenship, and it is another example of letting excessive corporate concentration take place to the general harm of people and economies," concluded Boehm.

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