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Getting Out While There is Still Time

I worked for several years for AlliedSignal engines, now Honeywell, here in Phoenix.  At our main engine plant here, we endured a couple of union organizing campaigns that both fell just shy of winning a position for the union.  A reasonable manager might expect that under the Democrat's proposed card-check system which replaces anonymous votes with open petitions, that enough hijinx could be brought to bear to put the union over the top.  I don't now if this is what they have in mind, but...

Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace plans to move 700 manufacturing jobs from Phoenix to Mexico and the Czech Republic.

Employees were notified Thursday of the cuts, which will begin in the second quarter of 2009 and continue for three years. Most of the job cuts are expected in the first year.

Workers who asked not to be identified said the news caught employees completely off-guard.

The affected jobs are at Honeywell's 34th Street facility at Sky Harbor International Airport, where the company and its predecessors Allied Signal and Garrett have built jet engines for almost 60 years.

I think the timing just a day after election results in, and the level of surprise, are telling.  Time to get this done now, before the owners have to go cap in hand to their employees to ask permission to run their business as they see fit.  I thought this last bit they added brings a nice irony to the situation:

The announcement came two days after Barack Obama, who has promised to take a hard line with companies that move manufacturing jobs overseas, was elected the 44th U.S. president.

Whatever that means, but it does give yet another reason to get out fast.

Posted on November 6, 2008 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

Comments

There are two main targets for card check. They are Wal-Mart which the Dems want destroyed, not unionized and the foreign auto industry plants in the US. They will flee to Mexico, like Honnewell, throwing tens of thousands out of work.

Look next for the German model of dual board corporations with the unions sitting on one of the boards.

Posted by: Corky Boyd | Nov 7, 2008 1:25:21 AM

I suppose it cannot happen, but if Wal-Mart really wanted to stick it up to Obama and the Democrats, they should simply close up business and fire everyone. 2 million plus more unemployed all of a sudden isn't going to look good in the statistics.

Posted by: Frederick Davies | Nov 7, 2008 6:22:07 AM

Dear Wal*mart investors, employees and customers,

As you know, over the past few weeks, several new Federal laws have been past with the weeks with a desire to "help" employees. After examining the text of these new laws, our corporate lawyers have informed our management and corporate board that the Wal*mart business model is no longer viable.

In the best interests of our stockholders, we are immediately accepting an offer from CostCo for all of our current assets. As you know, CostCo is often upheld as an exemplar of "good" employee relations. They are unionized, pay very well, and are also a place where items can be bought for "low cost".

As you may also know, CostCo operates using a smaller number of skilled, high-paid employees. Once CostCo takes over the day-to-day operations of our superstores, 90% of our low-wage, low and unskilled workers will be let go. Also, CostCo, as a membership-based co-op, will not simply allow anyone to walk in off the street and buy items there. So we expect sales, and sales tax revenues to drop at each location. Finally, CostCo achieves low-costs by selling items in bulk-sized portions. We expect every family will be much happier now buying soup by the case, mayonnaise by the gallon, and lightbulbs by the gross.

Thank you,

The Wal*mart management.

Posted by: Xmas | Nov 7, 2008 8:18:37 AM

I agree with you on so many things. But when it comes to something like this, honestly, Warren, don't you think it stinks that Honeywell laid off 700 taxpaying citizens of the US so they could outsource the jobs to countries that can't even create corporations and businesses to support their own citizens?

You can't honestly tell me that you're glad to see these folks lose their jobs. Or, maybe you can. Why don't you go to all their families and tell them its just the American Way. I'm sure they'll get jobs in manufacturing other things that people want. Oh, I forgot, all those jobs have gone overseas. Life and business are not all about the $.

If corporations just showed a little bit of humanity on their own and did what's right by other people, you wouldn't have unions, you wouldn't have the Dems seizing power and making things worse.

And,no, Walmart's not going anywhere.

Posted by: Sedulous | Nov 7, 2008 12:31:27 PM

The main targets for card check organizing efforts will be the service industry jobs that have a poor record in unionization votes and jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.

For example, auto mechanics at car dealerships. My father is in the car business and they have narrowly defeated unionization of their mechanics twice. He expects that with card check, it will be inevitable. The employer will find out about the organization effort after it's done.

The real tragedy will be what happens later. After costs, and consequently prices, go up, volume will inevitably go down. And, he'll be forced to lay off some mechanics.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff | Nov 7, 2008 1:57:11 PM

Sedulous, I don't think that's Warren's point, that he wants to see those jobs leave the US. At the same time, we know about union bullying and tactics and goldbricking.

Posted by: Rick C | Nov 7, 2008 5:53:59 PM

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