Yeah, neither do they:
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. is planning to lay off 250 to 300 employees in South Milwaukee by June.But there is a lot that is suspect about this news.
“Short-term layoffs and other actions will be taking place,” Caterpillar spokesman Rusty Dunn told BizTimes. “We are not getting into specific numbers, as we continue to evaluate the situation given the fluctuating economic and business environment. Various Caterpillar facilities and business units are taking action to bring our production in line with demand, including our operations in South Milwaukee. This includes some short-term temporary layoffs and other actions. These actions vary from location to location and impact both production and support and management employees. We know this is difficult for our employees, but we are taking steps to better align with the current economic circumstances, while at the same time remain focused on positioning the company for long-term success."
Ross Winklbauer, United Steelworkers union sub-district director of District 4, received word of the layoffs from union president Kevin Jaskie, who was present for the company announcement.
The union is unsure if layoffs will affect only union staff or both union members and management staff.
The union also remains uncertain about whether the layoffs will be temporary cuts or permanent dismissals, Winklbauer said.
The company failed to notify the state, as is required by law.
The company failed to notify South Milwaukee about this.
The company is claiming that it is due to low sales, but never mentioned this to the union or anyone else. Maybe not so coincidentally, the company is supposed to enter into formal negotiations with the union next week for a new contract. Also maybe not so coincidentally, the company has also been trying to get scabs trained at MATC - y'know, in case there is a strike or something.
Yeah, I smell a scabby rat here. Or should I say, a scabby cat?