Has anyone heard how the striker replacement program is coming? I have the feeling it must be going well as the number of analysts recommending the stock as a buy has been increasing recently. Also, is this Grizz tire and wheel thing for real or is it the basis for keeping the shareholders content while the company is facing the strike problems?
I'd have to get together with the union to get exact figures but I believe our benefits are worth about $6 an hour. We have no retirement plan now, no medical after retiring, we pay our short term disability and a portion of the long term. We were being charged more for dental than Taylor was paying in premiums so he was making money on that. There's no safety shoe allowance and safety glasses only for certain areas of the plant. We do have a 401K match or 50% of the first 6% but because he's having some big battle with the IRS, if I retire now I'll only get 20% of what I'm supposed to of the match. The bonus has been about $1.50 per hour for me, less for some. Old timers have a fixed $1 per hour for each hour worked so the more overtime you work the more you get. Plus 5% of profits. New people have to take a straight 10% and they've been making a lot less. But its my understanding he agreed to take no more than a 1% administrative cost against our profit sharing and he actually too 8%. He refuses to send us a lot of the accounting data we need to find out whats going on so who knows what the actual profits were. I make $15.50 per hour but I'm in the top pay bracket and there are only a few of us that make that kind of money. A lot of new guys start at $7.95 so $30 an hour wages and benefits - I doubt it. If he suceeds in breaking the union (which I doubt - we just started drawing unemployment benefits so we can hold out for six more months) I suspect he'll get Brownsville up and running and come back to Des Moines for concessions. His last, best, and final offer was in fact a concessionary package. He wants to tie our bonus to production levels. Those levels not met, no bonus. Only trouble is those production levels have never been made here or in any tire plant that I know of, even those with modern equipment. Bottom line - no bonus. He wants to give us 30 cents and take away the fixed $1 bonus, a 70 cent reduction. It goes on and on. Hope that gives you an idea of what we're dealing with. Most sucessful companies have found that forming a coalition with labor is necessary. With the tight labor market, those companies that beat up their workers will, in my opinion, ultimately fail.
There is a lot of truth in what you say, particularly the part about a fair wages for a days work, but I read somewhere that with benefits and profit sharing the hourly wage was nearer $30 per hour that 7 or 8. Can you put some facts out on: What was the amount of $ per person paid in profit sharing last year, what was the average wage for the average worker (not the new hires) what was the benefits package worth? Also, what was the final offer of the company? Thanks in advance.
If you consider hiring the dregs of society as "going well" then I suppose it is. With unemployment in the Des Moines area around 1.5 percent there's hardly anyone of quality to hire. My "opinion" is that its not working well for the company. But I'm a union man so I'm prejudice. As for the LSW, it is definitely being developed here in the Des Moines plant. The real question is whether it will go over with the farmers. If they buy it and don't like it they will have to not only buy a tire to replace it but a new rim as well. Whether they will take that chance before the design has proven itself is anyones guess.