Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CLXX

Remember how Scott Walker and his ilk told us that the mining bill would create shovel ready jobs, not just for the good people in Northern Wisconsin, but for people in Milwaukee, like the workers at the Caterpillar plant?

Yeah, neither do they:
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. is planning to lay off 250 to 300 employees in South Milwaukee by June.

“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.
But there is a lot that is suspect about this news.

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?


  1. LOL, not to mention their record profits last year:

  2. I smelled a rat when BE sold to Caterpillar recently. BE was THE big employer in South Milwaukee and this is a huge blow to a fairly blue-collar community.

  3. The rest of the story is the MJS reporting that the Democrat party responsible for killing the mining bill the first time has vowed to tie up the current bill in the courts.

    Now if one of you had money to invest in mining equipment how would you spend it?

    Remember, if you are against iron mining you are a hypocrite if you use metal. (Did you ever see a member of PETA wearing fur or eating meat?) Didn't think so...

    1. You do realize that there is worldwide overproduction of iron resulting in low iron prices. Therefore a new mine is not necessary to meet demand.

      The most heinous aspect of the mining bill is the gutting of environmental protections. The sulfide rich waste rock from a Penokee Mountains iron mine would create sulfuric acid when it rains or the snow melts. The mining bill would allow the destruction of wetlands that would at least entrap the acidic water. Instead the acidic water can enter the Bad River watershed and Lake Superior. This will cause major harm to fishing and tourism in the area, an actual long-term economic engine in the Northwoods.

    2. I presume that anonymous 1:08 is not using iron now since it's being mined without absolutely destroying the environment.

    3. There's a little thing called norther Minnesota that has iron ore and they're established.

      And they are laying people off.


      Better hurry with that Wisconsin mine so a few investors are in line to make more cash when the market roller coasters into high demand. They'll have the easy ore with no strings attached to Wisconsin at all.

      And if "March 29, 2013 at 1:08 AM" is worried about a shortage of metals, just go to Duluth, MN and you can get all sorts of Chinese steel that is getting imported.

      Where's the Republican outrage on that one over in Minnesota?

  4. You do realize that Caterpillar is a Democrat stooge, don't you.
    Nah, the Walker Derangement mental illness syndrome strikes again.

    1. Wow! Caterpillar is a Democratic stooge! Who knew?

      So who received campaign contributions from Caterpillar in 2012?

      Total to Democrats: $79,500
      Total to Republicans: $415,000

      Total to Democrats: $10,500
      Total to Republicans: $127,000

      Dan, how is Caterpillar a Democratic stooge? Is this just math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

    2. Dan likes to make idiotic statements to confirm that the rest of the world is smarter than he is.

  5. Interesting that we haven't heard a word out of Minibg Bill co-sponsor Mark Honadel about this, given that it's in his district and such. Whazza-'Matta Markie? Confused over how this affects your many business contributions?

    And the south suburbs have turned more GOP over the years due to Archie Bunkerism trumping the blue-collar mentality that once made those places thrive and prosper. How's that working out for you guys?

    1. We should revisit Mercury Marine, go beyond the suits, and lets talk to the workers.

  6. They won't need scabs Walker and the Republicans in WI will have the WI taxpayers pay for CATs employees with their bill allowing companies to lay off union workers or cut their hours to put unemployed people in their place, for their unemployment compensation...First these fascist companies didn't want to support living wages, next they won't even have to pay the wages, whatever they may be, because the WI taxpayers will. All profit for the corporations, as if the $59.00 gain in FOUR DECADES for workers was hurting their unsurpassed corporate profits.
    Pigs slopping at the trough.

    1. Just import the workers.

      CAT doesn't need Wisconsin workers, or even U.S. Citizens.

      The Chinese are ready to work, as long as CAT can "show" that they can't find workers here, they can get workers imported.

  7. You're either for the mine, or against it. Remember, Steel has to come from somewhere in the Earth. We have to mine it and refine it before we can improve lives with it's benefits.

    Reading the comments here proves the ignorance that has resulted in mining in countries that have no environmental law.

    So stop your use of metal or be a hypocrite.

    But reading this blog, the latter choice is SOP.

    1. You are denser than hematite. There is no need for a new mine raping the pristine wilderness of northern Wisconsin. There are long opened mines that still have a huge supply of iron ore that will meet worldwide demand for decades to come.

    2. That is a false choice. There is still mining going on that is done in a responsible manner. But since you don't feel that is possible, I guess it's back to the stone age for you.