“We Can Never Make Enough Money” CEO Tells Ever-Poorer Workers

Date: 15 Aug 2013 | posted in: Public Good News, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

200px-Caterpillar_logo.svg“Caterpillar has pioneered a two-tier wage system in which workers hired after a certain date are consigned to a significantly lower wage scale than others and it recently pressed its longer-term employees into accepting a six year wage freeze.  Many Caterpillar workers ask why the company insisted on a pay freezer when it reported repeated record profits-$5.7 billion last year, amounting to $45,000 per Caterpillar employee.  Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas Oberhelman (whose compensation has increased more than 80 percent over the last two years) says the freeze was vital to keep wages competitive with rival companies.  “I always try to communicate to our people that we can never make enough money”,  he recently told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  “We can never make enough profit.”

Steven Greenhouse, “Fighting Back Against Wretched Wages.” New York Times. July 28, 2013

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David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of the New City States, Seeing the Light, and three other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. Connect David on twitter or email dmorris(at)ilsr.org. Sign-up for our monthly Public Good Newsletter

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