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Old 01-22-2009, 12:24 PM   #41
seruzawa
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I worked in a union environment at Kennedy Space Center. The union sucked for the most part; there were a lot of a-holes who did nothing but cause trouble and file grievances, including 2 against yours truly. However, the fact is, workers have no other way to protect their interests in a capitalist system than by organizing. And for every union abuse, there are benefits to all of us that far outweigh any downsides.
True. But with power comes responsibility. A union is in the unique position of having an ability to affect management policy. That's why I have little sympathy for unioners when things come apart. HD management may have been profligate but nothing was stopping the union from saying something about too easy credit being extended. They didn;t because they were just as greedy in their own way. Now it's THEIR problem to handle. Why should you or I have to pay for the incompetence, union and management, as HD? Eff 'em.

However as one person I can't remember mentioned. Why is it that the average non-union worker in the USA earns more than union workers in the highly unionized European States? The idea that union pay raises the pay of others is pure hogwash.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #42
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True. But with power comes responsibility. A union is in the unique position of having an ability to affect management policy. That's why I have little sympathy for unioners when things come apart. HD management may have been profligate but nothing was stopping the union from saying something about too easy credit being extended. They didn;t because they were just as greedy in their own way. Now it's THEIR problem to handle. Why should you or I have to pay for the incompetence, union and management, as HD? Eff 'em.

I doubt that even you believe this bullsh*t. The only thing a Union does is represent the workers as a collective bargaining unit. They negotiate working hours, safety requirements in conjunction with OSHA, pay and benifits packages for their members and act as a legal advocate for the workers when managment tries to sh*t on them through unfair, illegal or unsafe work practices. They ensure a trained and skilled work force that produces the revenue for the companies by building high quality products. Why should they not be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve?

Unions have nothing to do with sales, credit, or production figures, future investments or anything else of that nature, that's managements responsibility. The ones running American manufacturing into the ground are MBA bean counters and wonderboys whose only concern is a fat portfolio and a golden parachute. By constantly focusing on the bottom line and the repulican concept of workers as disposable assets they create the very problems they then blame on "the workers".

Name me one company that has folded because of it's Unionized workers and not managerial incompetance and averice. Whether it's out sourcing and sub contracting jobs then blaming it's own workers for the crap componants they get back or grotesque salaries and bonuses for executive level mismanagement and outright incompetance I doubt very much you'll have much luck.

The fact is labor relations are a give and take and it's usually the Unionized workers that bear the brunt in the form of layoffs and take aways, while the white collar executive keep right on with the bonuses and stock options. It's only now that the cuts are hitting middle management, office workers and other suits that it becomes a national disaster.

We've been listening to and putting up this crap for ever. I guess it's because we have the gaul to live to and collect a retirement package that we pay into or entire working lives instead of having the decency to die young and save the company money.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #43
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We've been listening to and putting up this crap for ever. I guess it's because we have the gaul to live to and collect a retirement package that we pay into or entire working lives instead of having the decency to die young and save the company money.
Yeah, and all those damn people who quit smoking are going to be collecting Social Security forever!

Seriously, I think that the tide turned against the average worker when Regan busted the air traffic controllers union. The ironic part is, when workers make a good salary, they go and spend it. When they do that, they create profits for the same fools who think that dismantling the US industrial base for the sake of next quarter's EPS/EBITDA is a good idea. Teddy Roosevelt said in his Inagural Address that the only real wealth was wealth created by labor, especially (in his era) in manufacturing. He went on to say that every American should have the right to earn a "living wage," which included a decent home, the ability to keep your family healthy and fed, and basic education. If you earn the minimum wage today, you are in poverty. Did you know Wal Mart pushed for a higher minimum wage so it's employees could afford to buy the products in their own stores? And that many communities try to keep Wal Mart out because they know their public health care system will be filled with Wal Mart employees who don't get health care? There is an old saying that "when the tide rises, everybody's boat goes up." If our corporate leadership would focus a little further out than the next quarter's EPS and bonus, we'd all be a lot better off. By the way, do you know what happens when you put high taxes on the wealthy? They re-invest the profits in new business and jobs rather than lose it to the government.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:46 PM   #44
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Default B-Bar is on to something

This doesn't sound all that dissimilar to the housing fiasco. We've probably had H-D market saturation for a number of years now, so how many qualified customers are out there anymore? H-D has to keep propping up their sales figures and stock price, and they can't do it on t-shirts, fringed barbecue aprons and popcorn makers alone--they've got to move bikes. So Eaglemark, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the dealers, extends credit to lots of people who really can't afford a $20K+ motorcycle. Only unlike the mortgage companies, Eaglemark is still holding the bag.

H-D management should have realized that they wouldn't be able to maintain their numbers forever with the market and demographic issues they have. They must have known that selling 500,000+ mostly-premium-priced bikes per year wasn't realistic for the long term. Seems like they were trying to maintain a premium brand with less-than-premium customers. I'd also be willing to bet that there's plenty of blame to be shared by management, the union and the dealers.

The MV deal is interesting. I still don't know exactly why H-D bought it, but, depending on what Milwaukee does with it, it could pay off in the long run. Plus, relative to H-D's revenues, the price was pocket change. It's kind of refreshing to think that it could be a long-range investment, instead of a typical short-term fix. That said, the strategy is murky at best and I'm inclined to agree with LR that, at least, the timing was bad.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:38 AM   #45
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I doubt that even you believe this bullsh*t. The only thing a Union does is represent the workers as a collective bargaining unit. They negotiate working hours, safety requirements in conjunction with OSHA, pay and benifits packages for their members and act as a legal advocate for the workers when managment tries to sh*t on them through unfair, illegal or unsafe work practices. They ensure a trained and skilled work force that produces the revenue for the companies by building high quality products. Why should they not be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve?

Unions have nothing to do with sales, credit, or production figures, future investments or anything else of that nature, that's managements responsibility. The ones running American manufacturing into the ground are MBA bean counters and wonderboys whose only concern is a fat portfolio and a golden parachute. By constantly focusing on the bottom line and the repulican concept of workers as disposable assets they create the very problems they then blame on "the workers".

Name me one company that has folded because of it's Unionized workers and not managerial incompetance and averice. Whether it's out sourcing and sub contracting jobs then blaming it's own workers for the crap componants they get back or grotesque salaries and bonuses for executive level mismanagement and outright incompetance I doubt very much you'll have much luck.

The fact is labor relations are a give and take and it's usually the Unionized workers that bear the brunt in the form of layoffs and take aways, while the white collar executive keep right on with the bonuses and stock options. It's only now that the cuts are hitting middle management, office workers and other suits that it becomes a national disaster.

We've been listening to and putting up this crap for ever. I guess it's because we have the gaul to live to and collect a retirement package that we pay into or entire working lives instead of having the decency to die young and save the company money.
Yada yada. When one gets laid off it's his own responsibility. No one is forced to work for any "evil company". When shyt happens it's just too bad. Blaming "evil managers" is pathetic. But, the union bosses, they'll be fine won't they?

More than $500million given to political campaigns by unions last year. Spare me please. Unions are worse than corporations. Heck, they are corporations.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:40 AM   #46
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"Blaming "evil managers" is pathetic."

I'd say blaming 'evil Unions' is equally, if not more pathetic.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:16 AM   #47
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Default The shoe drops to the tune of 1100 jobs.

Just heard something about big layoffs. Didn't catch if it was a done deal or not.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:54 AM   #48
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Just heard something about big layoffs. Didn't catch if it was a done deal or not.
Yep, you are right. It will be over the next two years, though...for now.

"Harley-Davidson Inc. said Friday that it will cut 1,100 jobs over the next two years in response to diminishing demand for its heavyweight motorcycles."

ttp://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2009/01/19/daily62.html
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:09 AM   #49
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Also:
Harley to cut 1,100 jobs as 4Q profit falls - Yahoo! News
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:15 AM   #50
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Harley-Davidson will acquire 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of approximately 70 million euros ($109 million)


Think they would like that cash back about now? I bet they would!
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