First the good news:
Whatever it takes to thrill the leadership of United Auto Workers Local 974, the prospect that a couple thousand of its members could be back to work this year ranks near the top.
“This is definitely good news. We’re thrilled to hear it,” said Local 974 President Dave Chapman after learning that Caterpillar Inc. believes it can recall 9,000 or more of its laid-off workers worldwide — including close to 3,000 in Illinois — by the end of 2010.
Added Wes Hogsett, Local 974 bargaining chairman: “It is always good news when Caterpillar’s business picks up. That’s because our members can get back to work and get back to earning the paychecks they need to support their families.”
Now the bad news: Caterpillar’s business is picking up due to order is mostly foreign markets.
Caterpillar chairman Jim Owens spoke during the U.S.-Saudi Arabia business summit in Chicago last week and, during a question-and-answer session, said the company believes the recalls are likely because business — particularly in foreign markets — is regaining strength.
While about 6,000 of the recalled workers are in those foreign markets, including Asia and Latin America, where the growth is strongest, thousands of workers at U.S. plants that export their products will be brought back as well. The bulk of those are in Illinois. [Emphasis added.]
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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