Caterpillar

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Company Profile
Company Name Caterpillar
CEO Name Douglas Oberhelman
CEO Compensation $16,902,023
CEO Retirement Assets $15,088,189
Underfunded Company Pension -$4,785,000,000
Annual Company Revenue $60,138,000,000
Territorial Tax Break $4,550,000,000
Federal Lobbying/Political Donations ('09-'12*) $10,662,660
Click here for sources.
2011 data unless otherwise noted.
©2013 Center for Media and Democracy

Caterpillar is the world's largest maker of earthmoving machinery, such as bulldozers. Its products include construction, agricultural, mining, and logging machinery, and diesel and natural gas engines. It sells its equipment in 180 countries.[1]

In 2011, Caterpillar, Inc. reported $60,138,000,000 in sales and revenues.[2]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Caterpillar has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)[3]. See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Federal Contracting and Opposition to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

A Caterpillar executive sits on the board of the HR Policy Association (HRPA), a trade association. HRPA is a major opponent of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, an order issued by President Obama in 2014 that aims to ensure that federal contractors comply with federal wage laws, health and safety standards, and civil rights laws.[4]

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy of OSHA inspection records found that numerous corporations (and/or their subsidiaries)--including Caterpillar--whose executives sit on the boards had been cited for serious and repeat violations of OSHA standards from 2013-2015 that would be reportable under the EO. A "serious" violation indicates "a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result" from a hazard, a "willful" violation is cited when "evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements," and a "repeat" violation indicates the business "has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition."[5]

Between 2013-2015, Caterpillar[6] or its subsidiaries Caterpillar Global Mining LLC,[7] Solar Turbines Incorporated,[8] and Progress Rail Services[9] incurred 30 “Serious”, 1 “Repeat” and 8 “Other-than-Serious” OSHA violations and $119,447 in penalties.

"Lockout/Tagout" Violations
Caterpillar or its subsidiaries have been cited frequently for violating OSHA "lockout/tagout" standards related to controlling hazardous energy sources while workers conduct service and maintenance on machinery.
05/07/2015: Caterpillar Inc. was cited for 1 “Serious” violation at a site in Toccoa, Georgia, which was sustained in an informal settlement in October with a penalty of $4,500 for a lockout/tagout violation.[10]
10/01/2013: In October, 2013, following a planned inspection at Caterpillar, Inc.’s Fountain Inn, SC site, OSHA issued 5 “Serious” violations for and for failing to provide protection from hazardous machines and power-transmission belts; failure to provide required electrical grounding. An informal settlement confirmed each serious violation, but reduced the penalty to $2,400.[11]
02/12/2013: Following a referral inspection at a Carrier Mills, IL worksite of a Caterpillar subsidiary, Caterpillar Global Mining LLC, OSHA cited the company for 1 “Serious” violation and issued the maximum penalty of $7,000 for failing to ground containers for transferring flammable liquids.[12]
02/01/2013: In an inspection arising from a complaint at a Pontiac, IL site, Caterpillar Inc. was cited for 1 “Serious” violation and issued an initial penalty of $5,000 for a lockout/tagout violation. The case was closed in July, 2013 after an informal settlement confirmed the violation and reduced the penalty to $3,500.[13]
East Peoria, IL: OSHA cites Caterpillar for failing to lock out equipment
In June, 2011, OSHA “cited Caterpillar Inc. in East Peoria with three lockout/tagout violations, and issued an initial penalty of $66,000 following an investigation into a December 2010 incident in which an employee was injured while attempting to clear a jam on the link orienter in the full link heat treat area. Lockout/tagout provisions for the equipment had not been implemented prior to the employee entering the area.”
“Two repeat violations include failing to train employees on lockout/tagout procedures and to affix a lockout or tagout device to isolate energy to the link orienter....Caterpillar was cited for the same violations at the East Peoria facility in May 2009.”[14] The case was closed in July, 2013 after a formal settlement sustained 1 ”Repeat” violation and reduced the penalty to $7,000.[15]
Progress Rail Services Corp.
03/10/2015: Following a complaint investigation at the site of Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary, Progress Rail Services Corp., in Taylor Mill, KY, OSHA issued 2 “Serious” violations and issued a penalty of $9,500 for failure to provide machine guarding to protect operators and other employees in the machine area. In an informal settlement, the penalty was reduced to $4,750.[16]
01/23/2015: Following a referral investigation at another Progress Rail Services site in Muncie, IN, OSHA cited the company for 1 “Serious” and 1 “Willful” violation and issued $55,000 in penalties for violations of the “General Duty” requirement; and for failing to ensure the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees. In an informal settlement the willful violation was reduced to serious, and the penalty reduced to $9,000. This case remains open.[17]
06/04/2014: Following an accident inspection at a Progress Rail Services site on Terminal Island, CA, CalOSHA cited the company for 1 “Serious” and 1 “Other-than-Serious” violation and issued an initial penalty of $9,370. The serious citation was a violation of CalOSHA’s General Industry Safety Orders standard (Cranes and Other Hoisting Equipment) for failing to take certain measures to prevent crane movement while making repairs on crane runways, supporting structures, or equipment. A formal settlement deleted the “Other-than-Serious” violation and reduced the penalty to $5,000. The case remains open.[18]
10/01/2013: Following an accident inspection at another Progress Rail Services site in Rocklin, CA, CalOSHA cited the company for 2 “Serious” violations and issued penalties of $25,500. The serious violations were for failures to protect workers from exposure to hazardous liquids. In a formal settlement the penalty was reduced to $13,375.[19]
09/25/2013: Following an accident inspection, at a Progress Rail Services site in Mojave, CA, CalOSHA cited the company for 1 “Serious” and 4 “Other-than-Serious” violations and issued penalties of $17,700. The serious violation was for failure to secure a load against dangerous displacement. The case remains open.[20]
09/10/2013: Following a complaint inspection at a Progress Rail Services site in Patterson, GA, OSHA cited the company for 3 “Serious” violations and issued penalties of $15,660. The violations concerned failure to provide safe floors;100 to provide workers with personal protective equipment; and to ensure that powered industrial trucks are taken out of service when they are in need of repair, defective, or in any way unsafe. The penalty was reduced to $10,962 in an informal settlement.[21]
07/29/2013: Following a complaint inspection at another Progress Rail Services site in Mayfield, KY, OSHA cited the company for 2 “Serious” violations and issued the maximum allowable penalties of $14,000. The violations concerned the General Duty requirement;103 and general industry standards. The penalty was reduced to $7,000 in an informal settlement.[22]
Solar Turbines Incorporated
03/04/2015: Following an inspection at the site of a Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary, Solar Turbines Inc. in Channelview, TX, OSHA cited the company for 1 “Serious” and 1 “Other-than-Serious” violation and issued penalties of $8,000. The serious violation concerned the General Duty clause: “Employees were exposed to being struck by loads lifted with a Gaffey 10 ton semi-gantry crane...that did not have the hook over the load in such a manner to minimize swinging.” The violations are under contest.[23][24]
Caterpillar Loses Lawsuit over Refusal to Allow Union Health and Safety Investigator on Site after Worker Death; Hit with OSHA Violation and Violation of the National Labor Relations Act
After a worker at a unionized weld shop acquired by Caterpillar Inc. in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin was crushed to death on September 8, 2011, Caterpillar refused to allow a safety specialist with the United Steel Workers to access and investigate the worksite.[25]
USW complained to the NLRB, which found that the company had violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act and ordered that the union's investigator should be allowed access. The company appealed the Board’s decision, which was upheld in October 2015 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.[26][27]
The accident's cause was never determined, but in a separate investigation by OSHA, Caterpillar’s predecessor, Bucyrus International Inc. (which had been acquired by Caterpillar two months before the accident), was fined $7,000 for 1 “Serious” violation, the maximum allowable penalty for a violation of the general duty standard.[28]
The South Milwaukee case would trigger reporting obligations under the EO as the company committed NLRB violations subject to a court judgment within the three-year look-back period.

Related Articles: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

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Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Caterpillar is part of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as of February 2013.

This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.

About Fix the Debt
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.


Personnel

Board of Directors

As of January 2013 [29]

Former board members include[30]

  • W. Frank Blount, Chairman and CEO of JI Ventures, Inc. (venture capital) and TTS Management Corporation (private equity management).

Executives

Group Presidents

Former executives(and 2006 pay) include[31]

  • James W. Owens, Chairman and CEO, $14,818,621 (also exercised $3,215,228 in options)[32]
  • David B. Burritt, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, $1,966,688[33]
  • John S. Heller, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
  • Gerald L. Shaheen, Divisional President, $5,373,275[34]
  • Gerard R. Vittecoq, Divisional President, $6,375,508 (also exercised $1,021,863 in options)[35]

Political contributions

Caterpillar gave $529,000 to federal candidates in the 05/06 election period through its political action committee - 17% to Democrats, 83% to Republicans. [36] 2012 PAC Contribution Data: Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates: $632,000 14% to Democrats, 86% to Republicans[37]

Lobbying

The company spent $2,320,000 for lobbying in 2006. $700,000 went to four outside lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists.[38]

Using Illegal Emission Control "Defeat Devices"

Caterpillar, along with five other companies, were selling truck engines with illegal emission control "defeat devices." The emission control equipment works during pre-sale emissions tests in order to pass the tests, but then is de-activated during highway driving. The engines then produce triple the legal amount of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx). In 1998 alone, 1.3 million extra tons of NOx were put into the atmosphere this way. [39]

Caterpillar bulldozers in Palestine

Caterpillar has been selling weaponised bulldozers to Israel which are used to tear down houses in Palestine. In 2003, Rachel Corrie of the U.S. was killed in Palestine by such a bulldozer when she was trying to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian house. Emad Mekay of Inter Press News Service writes, "The parents of a U.S. peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer built by the global machinery giant Caterpillar confronted the company Wednesday for the first time and urged shareholders at its annual meeting to end sales of 'weaponised bulldozers to Israel'.

"Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of the late Rachel Corrie, attended the meeting as proxy voters on behalf of Jewish and Christian institutional investors who have filed a resolution asking for greater corporate accountability from Caterpillar.

"Activists supporting the parents who lost their daughter in 2003 say that the company sells machinery to the Israeli army in violation of its corporate accountability pledge and knowing full well that the equipment will be used for the destruction of Palestinian homes and farms."[40]

In 2005, a lawsuit was brought against Caterpillar after human rights groups sent more than 50,000 letters to Caterpillar Inc. executives and CEO Jim Owens decrying the use of its bulldozers to carry out human rights abuses. Families represented by CCR, the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic at Seattle University School of Law, the Public Interest Law Group PLLC, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights were involved in the case. The suit accuses Caterpillar Inc. for violating international, federal, and state law by selling D9 bulldozers to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) knowing they would be used to unlawfully demolish homes and potentially harm citizens.

The claims against Caterpillar Inc. for selling bulldozers includes the following violations.

  • The Alien Tort Statute (ATS), a 1789 statute giving non-U.S. citizens the right to file suits in U.S. courts for international human rights violations.
  • The Fourth Geneva Convention, Additional Protocol I, and customary international law, which prohibit war crimes such as collective punishment and destruction of civilian property not justified by military necessity.
  • The Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), passed by Congress in 1992, which allows individuals to seek damages in U.S. courts for torture or extrajudicial killing, regardless of where the violations take place.

In 2005, Judge Burgess in the Western District of Washington granted Caterpillar’s motion to dismiss the case without permitting discovery or hearing oral argument. CCR appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and oral arguments were heard on July 9, 2007. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal on September 17, 2007, under the political question doctrine. Plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing or en banc which is currently pending.[41]

On July 9, 2007, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Seattle heard oral arguments concerning whether or not the case should be reinstated. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that it did not have jurisdiction to decide the case. That same year, plaintiffs filed a petition for panel rehearsing and rehearsing en banc. In 2009, this petition was denied.[42]

Caterpillar and coal

It was reported in January 2011 that Caterpillar was making inroads in China's longwall coal mining. They will be supplying companies with automated longwall coal plow systems.[43]

Environment

Involvement in the Toxic Sludge Industry

Caterpillar manufactures equipment intended to handle toxic sludge, to dump it in landfills and to spread it on agricultural land.[44] Caterpillar, Inc. was an exhibitor at the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling." BioCycle Magazine is a publication serving the interests of the sewage sludge industry.[45]

A list of just some of the hazardous chemicals and pathogens found in sludge can be found in the article Sludge contaminants. Sludge contaminants include Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances. "Sewage is the mix of water and whatever wastes from domestic and industrial life are flushed into the sewer. ... We must note that, though the aim of sewage treatment is to produce clean water, it is never to produce 'clean' sludge. Indeed, the 'dirtier' the sludge - the more complete its concentration of the noxious wastes - the more the treatment has done its job. ... very waste produced in our society that can be got rid of down toilets and drains and that can also be got out of the sewage by a given treatment process will be in the sludge. Sludge is thus inevitably a noxious brew of vastly various and incompatible materials unpredictable in themselves and in the toxicity of their amalgamation, incalculably but certainly wildly dangerous to life." [46]

According to Sludge News, "[t]he policy of disposing of sludge by spreading it on agricultural land - a policy given the benign term 'land application' - has its inception in the Ocean Dumping ban of 1987. Before 1992, when the law went into effect, the practice had been, after extracting the sludge from the wastewater, to load it on barges and dump it 12, and later 106 miles off shore into the ocean. But many people who cared about life in the ocean knew that, wherever it was dumped, the sludge was causing vast dead moon-scapes on the ocean floor. New EPA regulations for 'land application' were promulgated in 1993. With the aid of heating and pelletizing and some slippery name morphs along the way, EPA claimed sludge could be transmogrified into 'compost' ... . But the land “application” of sewage sludge ... will pollute the whole chain of life for which soil is the base." [47]


Contact details

100 NE Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61629
Phone: 309-675-1000
Fax: 309-675-1182
Web: http://www.cat.com

Resources and articles

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References

  1. Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2007.
  2. Caterpillar, "2011 Year In Review", organizational document, page 65.
  3. Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, "Corporations and Trades Associations that Fund ALEC," Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, online report, 2003
  4. President Barack Obama, "Executive Order --Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces," government document, July 31, 2014.
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