Caterpillar digging into Indiana

Caterpillar has been a mainstay Illinois-based company for generations but no longer.  The power and influence of big labor has impacted the company for too long, damaging its bottom-line and hurting workers.

Now that Illinois’ neighbor, Indiana, has become a Right to Work state, Caterpillar is exploring their options, according to The Detroit News’ Robert Laurie:

Back in 2009, Barack Obama announced that Caterpillar had promised to rehire some of its laid-off workforce if his stimulus proposal passed. This week, the nation’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment announced that it would be moving a factory from Canada to Indiana. In the process, it will create 450 new jobs in the state.

You’d think the president would be happy, but this is not quite what he had bargained for. Take note, Governor Snyder. Caterpillar’s move came almost immediately after Indiana passed a right-to-work law, which will make union dues voluntary in the state. Labor officials claim Right To Work will deplete union funds, making it much more difficult for them to organize factories.

Coincidence? Workers who were formerly employed at the London, Ontario factory have been locked out since the beginning of the year after their union refused to accept pay cuts which would have kept the operation profitable. As a result of Big Labor’s obstinance, these jobs have been permanently eliminated and the plant relocated. The work will now be done in Muncie, [Indiana].

Big business has already been fleeing Quinn’s state after he signed a massive 2011 tax hike. Illinois had been in the running for a new Caterpillar facility of its own, one that would bring a whopping 1,400 jobs to the area by relocating a factory currently operating in Japan. This plan has now been completely scrapped.

However, while Cat may not have directly mentioned Right To Work, it did slam the way Illinois is treating business. “Please understand,” Caterpillar representatives said in an email, “that even if your community had the right logistics for this project, Caterpillar’s previously documented concerns about the business climate and overall fiscal health of the state of Illinois still would have made it unpractical for us to select your community for this project.”

Governor Quinn is now waving goodbye to 1,400 potential jobs.

While the location of the eventual facility has not been revealed, North Carolina is strongly rumored. North Carolina passed its Right To Work law way back in 1947, and currently plays host to Caterpillar’s world headquarters.

All of this should be of grave concern to Michigan’s Governor Snyder, who has been ambivalent towards the Right To Work issue. He’s gone on record as saying that he wouldn’t be opposed to signing such a bill if it reached his desk – but he also seems genuinely disinterested in pushing his Republican Legislature to make it happen.

Considering Detroit’s dismal unemployment numbers, the chokehold of the UAW, and the fact that the state to our immediate south is dealing with its own union image, the pressure is now on Rick Snyder. Indiana is just a few miles away and, with the stroke of Governor Mitch Daniels’ pen, it’s become much more attractive to manufacturers.

If Michigan cities are to compete for factory jobs, when there’s a Right To Work state within commuter distance, Snyder will be forced to re-evaluate his indifference.




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38 Responses to Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana’s Right To Work

  1. Michael McOsker says:

    Mr. Ritenour’s post below is not only comprehensive, but is well written, completely pertinent to the article, factually specific, and (perhaps, most importantly) civilized. I’d have to admit – grudgingly – that some of our Country’s best and smartest people (and best workers) are Republicans.

  2. […] was locked in a labor dispute with a union) and announced a new plant in Indiana. Caterpillar also recently scrapped plans to build a plant employing 1,400 people in heavily-unionized Illinois citing the “business climate” and announced this month that it would instead be located […]

  3. Ryan Ritenour says:

    I have a unique perspective as I vote Republican 100%, but I’m a 25 year member of the Steelworkers union. I got tired of all the bias and just took numbers from government websites and looked myself. I looked back 10 years, month by month, at all 50 states unemployment rates, and if they are RTW. There is no correlation seen between unemployment numbers and RTW laws. Look for yourself. For the 10 lowest unemployment states, 6 are RTW. Of the 10 highest, 6 are RTW. Looking at the rest of the RTW states, they are scattered throughout.

    However when I looked not at wages, but at per-capita income, which I feel best represents how a state is doing, we find that of the 22 states that have the highest per-capita incomes, only 2 are RTW, and that’s ND and Virginia, and we all know that ND is because of the oil boon.

    When I showed this to my IN congressman, he did look at the info, but told me that his constituents wanted RTW 2-1. I told him that while I usually agree that he should vote the way of his constituents, sometimes he needs to vote for what’s best for his constituents, and he agreed with me that many didn’t understand RTW, or even unions. They just see the TV reports of how public sector unions are bad. I’m not going to debate them, but I can tell you that local non-public sector unions help the local workers greatly. I have worked many years non-union, and many more union, and I don’t want to go back to the non-union places. I like the extra job protection and the safer work environment.

  4. Michael McOsker says:

    Leaving aside the article’s many inaccuracies, I think we should focus on the author’s intent. Here it is in a nutshell: Americans should be proud of the fact that the right wingnuts and their corporate masters in Indiana have decided to pimp out their sons and daughters to low wage employers. Their boast is “We Indianans have less self respect than you. Our kids deserve less than your kids. We’re good, quiet, passive, obedient slaves here. Hire in Indiana. We’ll make damned sure that your boots are well licked by our kids – now and forevermore. No union here, boss!”

  5. […] was locked in a labor dispute with a union) and announced a new plant in Indiana. Caterpillar also recently scrapped plans to build a plant employing 1,400 people in heavily-unionized Illinois citing the “business climate” and rumors are it will instead build that plant in […]

  6. Thomas says:

    RE: Unions built this country! Oh well, it was a good ride for me, took me to retirement.

    Unions at one time did good but now are just a money bank for the socialist and communists. Might be the attitude above, ‘me, me, me. Look at me, I don’t care if the factories go overseas, I am retired now and getting my 30 pieces of silver.’ You have to wonder, don’t they care about who is following them and where they will work?

  7. Chet Becker says:

    Great article. Keep up the great work.

  8. TLR says:

    Jobs for the American worker means a win for the average worker/taxpayer but a LOSS for obamma and his crooked union buddies. Funny how that works out.

  9. Steve says:

    To bad this story is bullshit! Catepilar has decided to move this plant to Georgia not Indiana! Mitch Daniels didn’t count on that and neither did the pro right to work site that placed this article on their page!!!

  10. Pearl Hix says:

    I will bet that the CEO’s of Caterpillar will get a huge bonus for this. Unions are what is breaking the backs of this Country. Do not think so. Think it is the Executives and their millions of dollar bonuses.

  11. Sam says:

    Uh..Cat’s world HQ is still in Peoria, IL…Just correcting the article

  12. […] Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana’s Right To Work […]

  13. Dave Richards says:

    The once great unions have become a parasite on society.

  14. Steve says:

    Yeah the right to bargain is a bad idea. Take whatever the company gives you and shut up. Wake up, CEO’s don’t want unions for that reason. Can’t understand why people can’t see that.

  15. Rob P says:

    If unions actually provided a benefit, people would be happy to pay dues. This is America not the USSR.

  16. Rich66 says:

    Sounds like the free market. I bet the folks in Muncie are pretty happy about that.

    Hey any of you Illinois folks wanna live in a free state where you can even protect yourself from murdering scumbags and thieves?

    Just one more nail in Illinois’ coffin.
    I have to travel through it some times but I make a point of not spending a dime when I do.

    Mayor Daley was enough reason to dislike the politics of Illinois but the corruption of the state politics and their anti 2nd ammendment stance is another.
    So all I can say is HA HA!!!

  17. Debera Voisin says:

    Thanks for your description. I really like to see clearly Marcy Lu

  18. Don says:

    I worked in Indiana for 35 years as a union worker,now that its right to work you will work for less count on it.I work in Florida now in a right to work for less state but here of course you dont have to be in the union but we are not forced to represent a non member at the expense of the paying members.We have 150 employees and 130 are union members.People need to go back in history and see why unions were created to start with……..Unlike what some people think unions didnt cause all our problems……..

  19. Derek Smith says:

    God I love the Bias and complete one way tunnel vision thinking that members of this website possess. I suppose a rational, fair observations that take the opinions of both sides into consideration requires either too much time and effort or is quicker to simplify the entire situation in order to make a point.

    Either way, NRTWC shows its true colors once again. We know who is feeding your purse!

  20. Matt says:

    I love the idiotic ramblings of John gill over here. He admits that the Cat plant went to GA (a right to work state) and then uses that as an argument for saying Indiana’s newly passed right to work is somehow not working.

    Typical Union thug mentality.

  21. Rick246 says:

    You poor union pukes. Unions are destroying this country not building it. The sooner we get rid of the public employees unions the better off America will be. Capitalism built this country, NOT the unions.

  22. John says:

    Great news for IN and other states, just proving the RTW was the RIGHT move for IN.

    Yes, in some cases companies will pay less… but weren’t the higher wages one of the reasons they were sending jobs overseas in the first place!? This legislations is one step in bringing more jobs back to America!

  23. John says:

    Indiana did it right, I hope the rest of the States take notice

  24. Jim says:

    “Cat may not have directly mentioned Right To Work”. This is a direct quote from the article. The author makes a pretty big assumption, but then what can be expected from this organization? They will push every button to promote their agenda.

    Caterpillar acted in this incidence as most corporations do; they run to countries that pay workers less. I doubt the company was not profitable in Canada; only that they werent profitable enough.

    Caterpillar will start employees pay less than their counterparts in the US that are union, yet they will only make what they make BECAUSE of the union. But when Cat decides these workers are making too much money and will cut their wages, who will fight for them? NO ONE! Just grin and bear it! It is a race to the bottom.

    The article also says “You’d think the president would be happy, but this is not quite what he had bargained for.” I havent heard the President complain about this. Coincidence?

    And finally the article says ” Indiana is just a few miles away and, with the stroke of Governor Mitch Daniels’ pen, it’s become much more attractive to manufacturers.” It has; the right to pay less.

  25. Sharon Jeanguenat says:

    This ought to show those idiots in Wisconsin that are wanting to recall Gov. Walker what can happen to them. I don’t blame Caterpillar at all. I grew up in Illinois, & can remember about 25 yrs or so ago, when they went on strike up by Chicago ’cause $22 an hour just wasn’t enough money. You can bet that not very many people outside of the employees & their union were having ANY sympathy with them at all. And, now, I live in Tennessee, & we have the right to work law also, & it’s a relief to not be told that you ‘have’ to belong to the union to just have a job.

  26. […] full article here. Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  27. AL349 says:

    Wake up, union thugs!!!! You can have so much more without unions.

  28. Trevor says:

    Unions built this country! Oh well, it was a good ride for me, took me to retirement.

  29. K says:

    According to Caterpillar’s corp website their website corp headquarters is still in Peoria, Illinois. They may be moving mfg plants, which they have done for years, but the president and top management are still in Peoria.

  30. John gill says:

    It went to georgia, so the right to work for less in indiana didnt make a difference!! Its a political ploy to make the rich richer,& the rest of us slaves. Just like the old days!!

  31. Garret says:

    IL needs Change and Hope away from Quinn and O’Bama.

    Not mentioned was a reason why Cat wants out of Japan. Their Corporate tax rates are 40%!

  32. Kevin Koloff says:

    Pat Quinn, Astala vista baby!

  33. John A. Lichty says:

    Wonder if NLRB will step in like they did with Boeing??????

  34. mike says:

    I wish Mr. Brown and all the looneys in Sacramento would read this and learn a lesson befor California becomes a ghost town or an extention of Mexico

  35. Bunny HOwe says:

    About time Caterpillar smartened up! Wait til their employees find out that in the South you can buy a 1800, 3 bd. 2 bath house for way under $150,000, with low taxes, utility costs, etc. So how dumb is the South now, folks?? You don’t need $150,000 a year to “just survive”–finally some eyeballs are opening up.

  36. Victor Cuevas says:

    Quick update. Our state of Georgia just got that Caterpillar factory coming from Japan. It will be set up in Athens GA…1400 new jobs. Go Georgia and God bless right to work states.

  37. […] Caterpillar: Goodbye Illinois, Hello Indiana’s Right To Work | The National Right to Work Committe…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Categories: News | Tags: Caterpillar, Compliance, DOT, owner operators trucking | Leave a comment […]

  38. Tom says:

    Hey Governer Quinn how can this be possible, you said that Caterpillar wasn’t contemplating a move, high taxes, forced unionism, corrupt politics, who wouldn’t want to do business here.

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