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Ferro Corporation Message Board

  • joelbb50 joelbb50 Apr 3, 2000 9:57 PM Flag

    freedom of speech

    Dear How:

    I totally understand your
    frustration and as a shareholder and portfolio manager I am
    truly baffled by what is going on. You stock is a
    cyclical one and should perform with its peers. This is
    something one has to take into consideration when buying
    this stock. As for the threat that your CEO has posed
    to employees who read and participate here, all I
    can say is "freedom of speech". Talk to me off the
    board at

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • It is true that we have lost a lot of experience
      in many of our divisions. How long will it be before
      all of us price ourselves out of a job. What amount
      of money do we make before the corporation pulls the
      plug on an employee. I would think that this type of
      work enviroment is damaging productivity when everyone
      is afraid of losing there job. Ferro has many long
      term employees that have given there heart and soul to
      this company but times have change and corporate has
      set an enviroment where everyone should be out for
      themselves rather than working as one. We still have many
      excellent dedicated workers that are willing to turn this
      company around but we must be treated fairly and share in
      the wealth. Everyone is getting excited about the
      stock price rising but it will have to reach at least
      $40.00 and remain strong for many years to recoup the
      losses that have occured over the last 18 months. Lets
      do what is right for the corporation and the people.
      Don't forget the people.

    • Ferro is not picking on the older people, they
      are just cutting the people who make the most money.
      It's Ferro business-as-usual, looking at the
      short-term bottom line instead of the long view. We have had
      several people let go at our division over the last
      couple of years, long-time employees. Coupled with the
      retirement of a few folks in that same time period, the
      company has lost a depth of knowledge. The result?
      Errors. It takes Ferro so long to approve replacements
      that the person they are replacing is gone before they
      can properly train the new person. Much is lost. I
      understand Hector has to approve "every" new hire. Doesn't
      he have more important things to do? Ferro is asking
      us to do more with less, but they haven't given us
      the tools to do it. Result? Frustration. Further
      Good people leave. I know SAP is on the horizon, but
      that's a carrot that's been dangled too long. One other
      thing, I got my last Ferro newsletter and it went on and
      on about Ferro's new leadership agenda....I read it
      cover to cover to try and figure out what that new
      agenda is. It's a bunch of fluff, falling way short of
      its intended design, to somehow make employees "feel
      good." We aren't stupid. Just tell us, "Hey guys, we're
      cutting people, we're cutting raises, and we want you to
      work harder so us guys at the top can make a lot of
      money." Now, that I can believe. It's honest and it
      doesn't insult my intelligence.

    • I appreciate your offer for help but I will not
      contemplate legal action unless there is a catastrophic
      reason for doing so. It's not going to be good for the
      stock (in the short term, and perhaps, in the long
      term) and it may hurt the interests of the average
      employee. However, unjustified firing of employees is a
      catastrophic reason in my book (assuming that exfoe is
      accurate in his statements).

      Besides, I have my own
      attorney and I have already consulted her.

      As for
      shorting the stock to balance the 401(k) money, we (I and
      my friends) have done that numerous times and

      I don't feel that Ferro can go down much
      from here. The book value of the company is $7 to $8
      per share. So the downside is limited. And I don't
      want to pay the 3.3% annual dividend.

      the short interest in Ferro was up sharply last
      month. So there could be a sharp move up at anytime. I
      don't think it's a great idea to short the stock here.
      On the contrary, I feel that FOE is fairly good buy

      One can make money whether the stock goes up or down.
      But it will be much harder now that options on Ferro
      no longer trade (which I believe is a negative for
      the stock as serious investors may bypass it

      What concerns me is that Ferro was a great company and
      still has some of the nicest people I have ever met.
      And most of them do not have the financial resources
      nor the knowledge to do what you suggest (short the
      stock). And so their retirment is in jeopardy if the
      stock price does not rally from here.

      What I
      want from Hector is the following:

      1. Ethical
      treatment of employees and respect and justice for all.
      IMHO, Management by fear is a big mistake.

      2. A
      commitment to reduce the average employee's 401(k)
      dependence on Ferro stock (from the current 60 to 85% to 20
      to 30%).

      3. Let the 401(k) dividends grow
      tax-free. If this is too expensive, then all employees who
      make less than $50k per year should have that

      4. A commitment to move Ferro stock into the 30s in
      the next couple of years so that the average Ferro
      employee can retire securely.

      If he achieves these
      goals, I have few qualms about what Hector pays himself.

      This is just my view of the situation. I realize that
      this is just one point of view and it is probably
      biased. So I encourage all Ferro employees to speak their
      minds. Only when all points of view are represented
      here, biased or not, can we arrive at an agenda which
      represents the best interests of all.

      • 2 Replies to How_did_that_happen
      • You are extremely knowledgeable about the
        complexities of the financial world as relates to Ferro's 401K
        and stock price. As an "average" employee, your
        arguments and theories about the 401K are normally over my
        (humble) head. And a person not so "brilliant" as yourself
        (if able to get beyond your nauseously repetitive
        personal attacks on the CEO), might believe you could have
        a legitimate complaint about the 401K. So, I have a
        question for you. Have you ever considered trying to
        communicate with Ferro management (or anyone for that
        matter!) in a forthright manner instead of operating in
        your embarrassingly cowardly fashion; that is, hiding
        in total anonymity behind an internet screen
        "hoping" that your message gets noticed by the right
        people? Why don't you send a letter (anonymously of
        course since that's the way you operate) to the proper
        person (without the attitude, try something
        constructive) and copy the CEO?
        P.S. to "Foe Uped" - please
        refer to my above message since everyone knows you and
        "How Did That Happen" are the same person.

      • Dear Foe employees. I am not sure what type of a
        plan you have, a 40Ik and an esop plan perhaps but

        PERHAPS someone in management or employee benefits can
        enlighten me on just what sort of retirement plan you do
        have. I hope this new information helps.

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