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Titan International Inc. Message Board

  • thesao thesao Aug 22, 1998 2:45 PM Flag

    Strike 3

    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?

    • It is now my belief (strictly an opinion) that Taylor will have to capitulate to the union in both Natchez and Des Moines and that process will begin next week.

    • 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.

 
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