Cagey Caterpillar Closes London Plant

The other day, the $60 billion heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar announced that it would be shutting a locomotive plant in London, Ont and moving production to a plant in Muncie, Indiana. The 450 workers in London belong to the Canadian Auto Workers Union, and they had been locked out since January 1 after they balked at taking a substantial pay cut that would have reduced hourly wages from the $34 an hour range to $16 an hour. Here’s a link to a report in The Star.

A few things of note: in 2008 the London plant received a $5 million tax break from the federal government to help it upgrade equipment and remain competitive in the global economy. Four months after Caterpillar purchased the plant in June 2010 it purchased an abandoned manufacturing facility in Muncie. According to this Globe & Mail report, the move to shift production to Muncie was made just 36 hours after Indiana’s governor signed into law “right to work” legislation that will make it hard for any prospective union to organize a workplace in the state which has been hit hard by the ongoing U.S. recession. Workers in Muncie will receive wages in the $12-$14.50 an hour range. Finally, once the London plant is closed, Caterpillar will be free transfer all its equipment and intellectual property (which was paritally paid for by Canadian taxpayers) to Muncie.

So all in all, not a bad bit of corporate bull-dozing. In response to the London closure, Mark’s Work Wearhouse has apparently said it will be pulling Caterpillar’s line of workboots from it’s its London-area stores.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

17 thoughts on “Cagey Caterpillar Closes London Plant”

  1. “its” is a possessive.
    You’d think that governments at all levels would catch on after awhile and lay down severe conditions for tax breaks. Hello, Regina City Council?

  2. Hello, Barb.
    When it follows a preposition, please use “a while,” NOT “awhile.”
    Thank you, Nick.

  3. #15 Yes I did.

    #1 comment, has 0 to do with the topic of Gregory’s post.

    As stated above, “A few things of note…”, = a ( few ), side issue( s ). Not the main point.

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