Despite local boycotts, Caterpillar heavy equipment is still one of the biggest names in heavy equipment with companies investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the gear long before the recent Electro-Motive Diesel lockout and subsequent plant closure.
Credits: MIKE HENSEN/QMI AGENCY
LONDON, ON - It cost Caterpillar Inc. $38 million to shutter its London, Ont., plant.
The US industrial giant released its 2012 quarterly results Wednesday morning and, amid the record profits and earnings, the business recorded the cost of cutting 465 southwestern Ontario workers and ending more than 50 years of history there.
"I have said all along we are dealing with a company that detests unions more than it loves profits," said Tim Carrie, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 27 representing the workers.
"We have no regrets about how we handled this. When you see how obscene the profits are and that they take work outside Canada and then sell locomotives in Canada, it is a crime," said Carrie.
"They are looking for the cheapest labour they can find."
A status quo agreement in London would have cost them a lot less than $38 million, he added.
The company demanded workers agree to a slash their wages by about 50% or face closure of the plant. After no deal could be reached, the company announced the plant's closure in February.
Cat recorded record earnings and profits across the board in its new financial report. It posted more than $60 billion in earnings in 2011 and this year projects that to top $72 billion.
Its profit per share of $2.37 in the first quarter of 2012 is an increase of 29% from first-quarter 2011 profit per share of $1.84.
First-quarter 2012 sales and revenues of $15.9 billion were up 23% from $12.9 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Profit was a record $1.5 billion in the quarter, an increase of 29% from $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
"These outstanding results demonstrate our continued focus on execution and controlling costs as we increase production and expand capacity to meet increasing demand from our customers. We're seeing strong global demand for most mining products and significant growth in replacement demand for products in the United States, which more than offset slowing in China and Brazil," Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said in a release on the company website.