What Would We Do Without Experts? UI-C Professor Condemns Caterpillar Employees
Per the Collegiate Times, Robert Anthony Bruno Director of the Labor Education Program in School of Labor & Empl. Relations made $120,955 in 2009, cheerfully coughed up by the taxpayers of Illinois to support his research and teaching at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Professor Bruno does not approve of the Caterpillar Union agreement in Joliet
Workers who had previously agreed to a two-tier wage contract and contributed to the company’s eye-popping profitability and global market dominance in the earth-moving equipment industry got little more than the privilege to vote for their own abuse.
According to news reports, the approved contract included a six-year wage freeze for more senior workers, a loss of cost-of-living adjustments, increases in health care costs, a switch from a defined-benefit pension plan to a defined-contribution program, and a loss of some seniority rights. Workers did earn a $3,100 signing bonus, and management agreed to a first-year, 3 percent pay bump for second-tier employees.
Union members understood the outrageous nature of the company’s position and staged a courageous fight. Ratifying an abysmally bad contract was not an endorsement of the terms or a betrayal of union principles; it was just going back to work.
Yet, the Caterpillar Union employees approved the contract, paying them up to $56k per year in base wages. Over 100 employees (out of 700) crossed to picket line to continue working during the “strike”.
Sensible people are capable of making their own decisions without the approval of our salaried experts in labor relations at the University of Illinois.
John Powers is the President of the Chicago Daily Observer
image Bruno Sanmartino