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donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 7:18 PM

ANOTHER COMPANY LEAVES MICHIGAN

Yesterday an announcement was made by the company that I worked for and retired from in '99. They are leaving Adrian, Michigan where they were founded in 1948 for the friendlier folks down in the state of Kentucky. One of the main reasons being the poor tax structure for business's in Michigan. I'm wondering how long it will take for the tax hungry democrats led by the less than illustrious Jennifer "Grandstand" to wake up before this state reaches the status of "Industrial wasteland" (we are getting close). Oh yes, I might mention that I received a letter today that my pension is unaffected. The people that run the company are not the usual greedy bloodsucking executives that we are so familiar with. This is a privately owned business led by three generations of nice people that have been active in the community since the end of WWII. They are trying to compete and survive.
Thank you, I just needed to vent a little. Lot's of friends will be out of work.


allena
Allena  (Level: 255.5 - Posts: 1391)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 9:57 PM

I suspect you left out the name, Brazeway ... the world's largest producer of evaporator coils for no-frost refrigeration. A rather esoteric nitch but ...

I think the issues include the labor force. Michigan remains dominated by rust belt oriented unions with no vision. The politicians are beholden and just speak like Stepford wives. Your venting is totally understandable. In PA we have similar issues with some positive results and perhaps a little hope. Obama is NOT the hope.

I suspect the sun belt is pleased to welcome your fine company. At least they did not go to Mexico.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 10:40 PM

You are correct on the first part. I spent 39 years there while the "Worlds Largest" was being established but you are not so accurate on the second part. I was a member of the bargaining committee when we ironed out the first written contract in 1968 and spent the next 31 years in a strike free environment with the company and union working together in harmony with very little strife. We were one of the first companies to eliminate the "time clock" and even the company President and the other execs had no personal reserved parking. First come first served. Just a couple examples of our rust belt visionless atmosphere.

kaelin
Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 11:11 PM

Allena & Donden - thank you

I erased the rest - got my blood pressure up though O

loveland
Loveland  (Level: 55.2 - Posts: 521)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 11:58 PM

The company did relocate some production to Mexico as well.

sploofus
Justin  
Sat, 7th Jun '08 12:23 PM

Hadn't heard about this... I wonder if they'll be moving their ornate castle constructed of imported Italian marble on the north side of town along with them? That's a heck of a residence, and I don't see anyone left in the area other than perhaps a Merillat descendant who would be able to plop down 8 figures for it.

First it was the Products, now this. What's left?

Thanks Granholm. Grrrr.

Justin


donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sat, 7th Jun '08 2:24 PM

I drive by that monstrosity several times a week and can't help but think they could have built something a little more subdued with the $$$ that I helped them earn. Might be a good site for an Addams Family remake.

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 134.1 - Posts: 3778)
Sat, 7th Jun '08 4:07 PM

This is disgusting to say the least, but I am slow to hold Granholm to blame. Surely she could be doing more. BUT!! This whole trashing of Michigan starting with the Engler Administration, which sold off profitable segments of the state to wealthy private interesting (Big contributors). He had a Republican House and Senate rubber stamping it all and a Republican Supreme Court protecting their back side. The Liquor Commission alone added over $100-million above expenses to the general fund. Now it goes into the pockets of some wealthy distributors. ABC paving has left our road system in shambles while pocketing big profits. Engler propped up his facade by stashing the money he wasn't spending on the roads in the general fund.

Now that he is gone, Granholm inherited his mess and a Senate full of holdovers that are successfully preventing any real work on fixing the mess they created. After all, it would look pretty bad for them to undo all the havoc they created, even though it would start turning things around.

Like I said, I hold Granholm to blame for some but hardly all of the mess. Until the Engler leftovers are gone, it is going to be hard to really evaluate her administration.

loveland
Loveland  (Level: 55.2 - Posts: 521)
Sat, 7th Jun '08 5:15 PM

An article I read said one reason they were relocating was to be closer to the auto factories they supply. I would guess those factories were built a number of years ago.

There is plenty of blame to go around on this. I don't think it can be all pinned on the current govenor.

alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.4 - Posts: 7561)
Sat, 7th Jun '08 7:42 PM

I'm glad to see Tuzilla offer viable explanations about the state's [Michigan] economic woes- besides just bad mouthing labor unions.
The "American Dream" wasn't spawned by Big Business just "giving" workers decent pay and benefits. We built a large middle class after W.W. II.
It's shrinking.
CEO pay is outrageous. Stop thinking blue collar workers are to blame.
Worker versus Worker- that's the right wing philoophy.
It's been done before- just look at this country's history.
Research "robber barons" [Wikipedia e.g.] for some clues.



acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 10:23 AM

So Al, we just cap what a CEO can make? Labor unions had their time and place, and served this country well, but it's far beyond time to give them up.

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 134.1 - Posts: 3778)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:06 AM

Aco. Take a minute and look at how the same companies with labor union agreements treat workers in other countries where they are not held in check by labor unions. This is the way they WANT to conduct themselves in this country, and with the help of politician are moving us this way. There was no middle class in this country until the labor movement created it against the will of the incredibly wealthy. Labor unions are not losing power in this country because they are outdated. It is because of Flight to markets where companies can exploit at will thanks to corrupt governments and lax standards. Ask India about Union Carbide's great safety record, or the tens of thousands of Mexicans dying from Asbestosis because of companies who moved there to expose workers to asbestos instead of cleaning up industries like brake pads and insulation when it was regulated because of its dangers in this country. And we need to hurry up a better flow of goods from China. I am running short of lead laden stuff. The list could go on for pages. Let's just end it with a mention of the bankrupt philosophy of trade agreements like NAFTA that protect and grant company's rights to lucrative markets, but do nothing to help the workers, consumers or the environment.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:10 AM

Amen

acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:14 AM

Tuzilla, labor unions may have a place in those countries you listed, but to suggest that if unions went away here in this present day that American workers would be paid pennies on the dollar is a little far-fetched.

acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:17 AM

I am also disturbed by the fact that unions are for "workers' rights'" only if said worker belongs to a union. Don't hand me crap about caring for workers unless you mean all workers, not just members of your club.

tuzilla
Tuzilla  (Level: 134.1 - Posts: 3778)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:33 AM

Aco. You are woefully misinformed. I do not wish to debate this here. I prefer playing and writing quizzes when I am here. If you want to debate it further, I will do it in my spare time off sploofus. Thank you.

acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 11:45 AM

fair enough. Have a good day!

mike

alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.4 - Posts: 7561)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 2:03 PM

Mike: your lashing out at labor unions just helps make my point about "worker versus worker" mentality. Unless you happen to be are a highly paid CEO and entrepreneur, why do you bash the one major social change agent that serves to be the impediment to becoming [and returning to ] a TWO class society.
Again, do some historical research. You may change some of your opinions.

Unions are not a "club"- you pay dues to become a member - this entitles your co-workers [by law] to have representatives negotiate collective bargaining protections and allow you a "voice at work". I joined a union about 35 years ago- I became active & educated and made myself appreciate the significance of being protected by a union.- all while still respecting my employer and its need to conduct a profitable business It's not that rare an occurrence.

If you do not have a "voice" where you work- why not? If you do - you are blessed to be in the employ of a progressive company. Being called an "associate" is nice- but what power do you really have? And note -- you are still an employee-at-will. Do you have a contract or golden parachute to fall back on?

Don't get sucked in by the "unions are irrelevant" today mantra. Who is teaching that lesson? Whose interests are being represented?
[You can private message me if you want more feedback].
Thank you







acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 2:51 PM

Al,

I used to drive a truck hauling kayaks from Greenville, SC to Charlotte, NC. It was a great route and I was thankful the company I worked for had the contract. It was a very good time for me and my family because I made good money and had great benefits. It lasted only a brief while because dockworkers in New York found out the company I worked for was not unionized. The dockworkers started destroying the kayaks we were shipping, and forced the company that made the kayaks to hire a unionized company. How's that for worker vs. worker?!?!?!?! In case you missed it, I did state that unions had their place at one time, that should satisfy your history argument. I am talking about NOW. If workers don't like where they are working, go find another job. I can't stand this "we deserve" mentality that unions propagate. I think it is a huge problem in this country.

sargon
Sargon  (Level: 112.0 - Posts: 1256)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 2:58 PM

There must have been more than the state's business climate that went into the decision.
Why would Brazeway move operations to Kentucky that rates 41 according to Forbes in terms of overall business climate? Seems like the company would be looking for a state in the top ten.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 3:44 PM

Because they already have a plant there, and omly have to expand. Also, I understand that tax breaks were offered when they built there originally and I would expect they might have been re-offered to get them to move.

acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 3:59 PM

People who defend and promote unions typically use phrases such as "fair", "deserve", and tend to bash wealthy CEOs.

No one ever said life was fair. If you are not happy with your station in life, you have the power to change it. You do not have to rely on wealthy union bosses to change your life. A strike nowadays just sounds like a 9 year old saying, "If it can't be my way, I just won't play". That is fine, but it should be a personal choice, not ordered by an official who "represents" you. If you are ordered to go on strike because of a situation that doesn't directly involve you, what then? See paragraph on violence below.

Does anyone in this country believe in personal responsibility? Union leaders and members say things like "we worked hard for this company, we deserve (fill in the blank)". Gee, everybody deserves something, right? everybody deserves healthcare, right? Even the 5'10" guy who weighs 300 pounds, has smoked for 20 years and doesn't regularly exercise. Right??? The cost of my healthcare should go up because he "deserves" affordable healthcare, and it's "fair", right?? RIGHT??? It couldn't possibly be his fault, it has to be the tobacco companies' fault. And of course, the fast food industries' fault. Or how about society in general? Sure, why not!

Is there really any place in this society for the violence that unions spawn? I worked with a 59 year old fellow supervisor at a bakery distribution center. The bakery union went on strike, so he was sent to a bakery to drive a forklift. His life was threatened verbally every day, he had to have a police escort to work, and his car was vandalized. Tires slashed and all the windows broken out. This is not an exception to how unions do business, it is the accepted norm. THAT'S what recent history about unions has taught me!



donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 6:20 PM

If you read my original post, Fish, you won't find me boasting about unions or bashing the company. Not all Labor/management relationships are hostile. For every union act of violence I can name an equal instance of mistreatment by management somewhere. Unions were CAUSED by brutal treatment, unsafe and deadly working conditions and top level GREED. Look at the whole picture sometime, dude.

acofish
Acofish  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 98)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 8:59 PM

"mistreatment of management" versus "act of union violence"?? I stated unions HAD THEIR PLACE. I am talking about NOW...THE 21ST CENTURY. Don't tell me how great unions are NOW because of the good they did in the PAST. Wake up!!

towerguard
Towerguard  (Level: 71.6 - Posts: 150)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 9:34 PM

Dude, you obviously have a closed and hermetically sealed mind on this issue. No amount of discussion, logic or facts is capable of changing your mind even an iota. The same goes for the rest in this discussion. Why don't you please just let it go and die. This has become nothing more than a litany of heartburn, fist pounding and teeth grinding.

alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.4 - Posts: 7561)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 9:39 PM

Mike: Why would you think that unions "had their place"?
If they were necessary then- but not now- why are so many workers going without defined pensions ; employer provided health care and job security- and no "voice at work."

Because the tide turned back in 1980 when Reagan chose sides with Big Business.
When he said he "would get the government off your back"- he wasn't talking to the middle class.
When unions are targeted for extinction- so goes the non-union workers protections.
A rising tide raises all boats- the opposite is true also.
What goes around- comes around.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 9:47 PM

I never needed a bunch of clowns to keep a job. You take a job knowing what your deal is. If unionist are stupid enough to price themselves out of a job, then maybe they do need a group to think for them. The government will not allow business to screw the common man. Yes, unions had their place in their day. If you work hard you don't need to pay someone to work. Duh?

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 12:39 PM

"The government will not allow business's to screw the common man" Holy Crap! What planet do you live on?

alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.4 - Posts: 7561)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 2:19 PM

My observation: Felix sure didn't excel in history class.


felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 5:39 PM

From here it really looks stupid to pay someone to help you keep your job. I am sure things are different in Yankee Land. Here we don't have unions and we keep our wages less taxes. You paid someone dues that could not guarantee you a live time job? LMAO @ u. Know wonder companies are heading south (and beyond). Thanks for the economics lesson, see you in the soup line.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 7:24 PM

I'll be glad to serve you some, Felix

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 7:43 PM

Sounds like the union got you a very suitable job. I can't join because I am busy keeping a real job on my own merit. I'd be glad to explain how it works.

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 8:20 PM

Good for you. You are a fantastic individual, I know that because you keep telling us. But I should remind you that I myself toiled in the workforce for over 45 years and didn't have to rely on anyone else to keep a job. I also did a 2 year stint for Uncle Sam. Did you?.....doubt it.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 8:52 PM

I did not serve our country. My father did and two of my sons DO. What have you done lately besides driving industry from one of the dirtiest states in the country? If your system works so well, then explain why companies are leaving your wonderful area. I do commend you on being a productive American worker for 45 years. Where you in the Navy, because you seem to be at sea on this one. Or were you just in charge of talking tough on something that you can't back up? God Bless our Troops!

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 9:14 PM

Sorry, no navy man here. I was stationed in Berlin in '61-'62 having beers while we fought the cold war. At my present "advanced age" I might surprise you with my ability to back up my so-called tough talk. (Where did you get that anyway?). But I don't generally carry on spirited discussions with someone hiding in the hills. I was always told never to argue with an idiot. Bystanders might not be able to tell the difference. So this, my dear southern "gentleman", will be my last post on the subject. I got beers to drink with my union hooligan friends. Gotta keep them from terrorizing big business.

felix
Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Mon, 9th Jun '08 9:20 PM

Thought so!


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