Are we in a recession or something? After a failed attempt to halve employee wages at their Ontario plant, Caterpillar has shut down in Ontario and moved to Muncie, Indiana. Companies are now coming to the United States for cheap labor, which makes Canada the U.S., and the U.S. China and India, and… wait, did you hear that? That's the sound of Toby Keith's brain exploding.
In Ontario, Caterpillar "had demanded to cut the $35 wage by $18.50, eliminate cost-of-living increases, retiree benefits, and the defined-benefit pension plan, and hike drug insurance costs," which employees weren't happy with for some reason. American job-seekers jumped at the opportunity. A job fair at the Muncie plant saw the hopefully-employed show up at 4 a.m., five hours before the job fair opened. 3,000 applicants showed up at the job fair, seeking jobs in the $12-$18.50 per hour range.
Caterpillar hopes to avoid union involvement at the plant, posting job ads for HR people with "experience with providing union-free culture and union avoidance." The decision to pick Indiana probably has something to do with the state's new anti-union "right to work" legislation, which was passed earlier this month. The legislation says that companies can't negotiate a contract with a union that requires non-members to pay representation fees.
Moving jobs from Canada to America for more lenient labor laws and less pesky union involvement has echoes of companies like Apple sending manufacturing jobs to China "where people work day and night to make Apple’s beautiful baubles, and get so little of Apple's cash in return." It's official. The U.S. is the new China!