Caterpillar Demands for Cuts Prove Groundless in Wake of Record Profit Announcement, CAW President says

January 26, 2012, 1:20 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is demanding that Caterpillar take its concessionary demands off of the negotiating table in light of today's announcement of the company's record-setting profits of $4.9 billion - a stunning 83 per cent increase over last year.

On January 1, Caterpillar locked out nearly 500 CAW Local 27 members at its locomotive facility in London, Ontario (Electro-Motive Diesel), demanding wages and benefits be cut by more than half.

"Today's announcement is as outrageous and it is infuriating," said Lewenza. "This corporation is turning out record profits and making money hand over fist, and at the same time cutting our members off at the knees."

"What we're experiencing in London is a total injustice. It's shameful. And it's completely hypocritical," Lewenza said.

Caterpillar profits far surpassed expectations. And sales of Electro-Motive Diesel products increased by $861 million in the past year. The company forecasts the year ahead to yield even higher revenue, with growth pegged between 13 and 20 per cent.

CAW Local 27/Electro-Motive Diesel Plant Chairperson Bob Scott said the company has absolutely no justification for keeping on its hard-line stance to reduce wages.

"We've been locked out for nearly a month and would like nothing better than to get back to work, and continue providing for our families," Scott said. "There's no logic behind what the company is doing. They're fuelled by greed, plain and simple. And we're left here in the cold to suffer."

Union members staged pickets at Caterpillar dealerships across the country today, in an effort to raise the profile of this dispute with the company's customers.

The CAW is calling on the federal and provincial governments to play an active role and use every tool at their disposal to protect the interests of London workers in this dispute.

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