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Muncie, IN: A Living Wage?
The Star Press
Mark A. Greenberg

January 27, 2012
View the Original Article

Caterpillar Inc. owns and operates Progress Rail in Muncie, which builds diesel and electric locomotives.

In 2010, sales and revenue for Caterpillar was $42.58 billion. Undoubtedly, they are a successful business. My concern is their closing of a plant in London, Ontario, and the potential shift of needed workers to Muncie. Workers there were told to take a 50 percent cut in pay. They were making upward of $30 an hour, a decent living wage. Who among us could take a 50 percent pay cut?

At $14.40 an hour for a 40-hour work week, an individual makes $29,952 annually before taxes. Yet, that is the dollar amount Progress Rail pays their skilled welders here. For most people, mortgages and rent have to be paid, utilities and transportation costs must be considered, and food has to be put on the table.

Are citizens of Muncie to applaud this opportunity? Really?

What is wrong with paying employees a decent wage that allows them to purchase items that can help our economy grow?

How about paying a decent wage so parents can pay for health care or include that with employment?

How about paying a decent wage so workers can afford to help their children pay for college?

How about paying an employee enough money so they can put a little away for retirement? We should be asking why this successful U.S. company wants to pay workers in Muncie such low pay compared to workers in Canada.