"The strikers often insisted that it was wrong for Caterpillar to call for a six-year wage freeze when the company, the world’s leading producer of earth-moving equipment, had record profits of $4.9 billion last year and forecasts stronger earnings this year. Moreover, many strikers bristle at a pay freeze because compensation for Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas R. Oberhelman, jumped by 60 percent in 2011, to $16.9 million." (source)
On one hand, a six-year wage freeze for its employees. On the other hand, record profits for the company, and a 60 percent raise for its chief executive.
Greed is not an American value, but it does seem to be a Caterpillar corporate policy.
Update: Caterpillar and the striking workers have agreed to a deal, and it's a horrible one. Under the new deal:
- Caterpillar breaks the link between profits and pay;
- Health care premiums will be doubled;
- Pensions are eliminated.
Why did Caterpillar do this? Because they could. Remember that, the next time you hear someone argue in support of "job creators."