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Old-N-Feeble
03-25-2012, 08:43 PM
There is no gray line. There is no wobbling to one side of the line or the other. When the line is so clearly drawn then anyone with the slightest bit of integrity and compassion must defend that line. So... you'd shaft all those people so you can have your Kodak film? My stance on this makes me a piggish bore? Wow... what has America come to?

Frankly, I'll keep my principles, thought of as a piggish bore or not.

Gim
03-25-2012, 09:54 PM
Hey Old, where were you when pension funds were stole in the 70's and 80"s. When deregulation not only cost 1000's of jobs but 1000's of companies in transportation. There is a whole history of business buying business, and going out of business, that has nothing to do with the so called American principal. It is pure and simple greed....money. Many who read these have a history of hard times that have nothing to do with Kodak and predate the Kodak problems...you know...nobody cares. Right, if you have an invested interest there is a personal stake involved...but that is a personal problem.

I would not like to see Kodak go out, nor screw there employes but I would have to ask...did they care when the rest of the American business world went through the same problems over the last 20-30 years.

From someone who does not have a pension I am not concerned about your gray line, nor your integrity and compassion because I believe it is self serving. Forgetting Kodak...this has happened over and over...and no one cares except the people with vested interest.

This is not an American problem...it's global...and it's just film. Nobody is starving or dying because they don't have water, or food, or medical care. Nobody is dying because of the all important religious affiliation.

This is just a film company that has a great history they threw away and now we are suppose to be concerned about the pension welfare of the employes. My ass... get real and welcome to the rest of the world.

Best,
Jim

Photo Engineer
03-25-2012, 10:23 PM
Jim;

I was there, working at Kodak during the 70s and 80s. Yep, saw all of what you say and I sympathized. In fact, Kodak did and set up a pension plan that was "bulletproof" with a golden parachute that would protect employees. See where that left us. Hah.

The rule is that if it does not make a profit it isn't good. And that includes moving the process outside the US. We don't make or do anything here nowdays compared to the rest of the world.

So, I am about to lose medical benefits. If it were not for the varitey of Kodak plans and my years servive, I would have lost everything.

Oh, and I contributed plety to those plans. I'm lucky to get something back.

PE

Ken Nadvornick
03-25-2012, 10:56 PM
Nobody is starving or dying because they don't have water, or food, or medical care.

Careful...

Ken

wblynch
03-25-2012, 11:22 PM
Just to mention that in the United States, all these 'efficient' corporations that weaseled out of their pension obligations did so at the expense of the US Government (that means us, we taxpayers).

They dumped it off to a pension guarantee system. And WE all pay for it.

So if you sit around, admiring those clever executives, and believing how wonderful the 'free market' is, remember the corporate welfare handout we provided so those mighty executives could keep their billions in bonuses.

keithwms
03-25-2012, 11:38 PM
Not sure exactly what is being discussed any more but... I agree with Ron and I sure hope that he and other Kodak colleagues are compensated. This situation is really tragic for people who contributed so much and placed their faith in Kodak.

What happened to Kodak could (and eventually will) happen to any number of other American companies; we encourage risk and transformative new business, and this is the downside. Then, when these collapses happen, there is extra burden on the States and on Federal budgets as well. Make no mistake, we will ultimately all pay for what Kodak management did... albeit far less than retired Kodakers. But this hit us all in taxes, eventually.

Steve Smith
03-26-2012, 12:36 AM
I still find it strange that American companies can have control and access to pension funds. My company pension is controlled by a separate company. i.e. a company which specialises in pensions and insurance.


Steve.

Trasselblad
03-26-2012, 04:14 AM
Realistically speaking and in my personal view, there are only two ways for Kodak to go with still film production: One, to down-scale significantly as the demand today does not justify the capacity of the coating plant. Two, license the coating to another operation which can make it profitable, whilst keeping, say, the final quality control and branding in house.

I read an interview long time ago with Mr. Maitani, the designer of the Olympus OM series. He explained that at the end of the series in the 90'ies, the whole production line, tooling etc. had to be dismantled and sold as scrap to recover at least something because at the capacity it had, if run even for a few weeks at full speed, it would cover the market demand for a year. Considering that starting up and shutting down a complex production line takes some serious planning and doing and that letting it "idle" is not an option, it became a simple decision governed by practicalities. The nail in the coffin during the interview was when the reporter asked him to confirm if, for this reason, there would never again be an OM series camera body built again and Mr. Maitani dryly replied "That's right. Never again.". Just like that. End of story.

Steve Smith
03-26-2012, 04:26 AM
Realistically speaking and in my personal view, there are only two ways for Kodak to go with still film production: One, to down-scale significantly as the demand today does not justify the capacity of the coating plant. Two, license the coating to another operation which can make it profitable, whilst keeping, say, the final quality control and branding in house.

If they went for option two, that doesn't leave them much to make a profit on. I think option one is the only viable option. become a much smaller but profitable film company.


Steve.

CGW
03-26-2012, 06:31 AM
Realistically speaking and in my personal view, there are only two ways for Kodak to go with still film production: One, to down-scale significantly as the demand today does not justify the capacity of the coating plant. Two, license the coating to another operation which can make it profitable, whilst keeping, say, the final quality control and branding in house.

I read an interview long time ago with Mr. Maitani, the designer of the Olympus OM series. He explained that at the end of the series in the 90'ies, the whole production line, tooling etc. had to be dismantled and sold as scrap to recover at least something because at the capacity it had, if run even for a few weeks at full speed, it would cover the market demand for a year. Considering that starting up and shutting down a complex production line takes some serious planning and doing and that letting it "idle" is not an option, it became a simple decision governed by practicalities. The nail in the coffin during the interview was when the reporter asked him to confirm if, for this reason, there would never again be an OM series camera body built again and Mr. Maitani dryly replied "That's right. Never again.". Just like that. End of story.

On the other hand, the Olympus photo division was practically dead in the water by that time, mostly for never having made the leap to AF. Another case of trend blindness, I guess?

David Callard
03-26-2012, 06:51 AM
I exclusively shoot color reversal film in formats from 35 thru 4x5. I particularly lament the loss of Ekta VS and Elite Chrome. I am certainly happy to place an annual order if necessary.

David Callard
03-26-2012, 06:57 AM
If they went for option two, that doesn't leave them much to make a profit on. I think option one is the only viable option. become a much smaller but profitable film company.


Steve.

I agree with both those options. I have openly speculated in this forum and others whether licensing might be a way out - perhaps to China or maybe some Eastern European country (Poland?).

steven_e007
03-26-2012, 07:09 AM
I still find it strange that American companies can have control and access to pension funds. My company pension is controlled by a separate company. i.e. a company which specialises in pensions and insurance.


Steve.

I find it very odd, too. I worked for a company that went bust about 20 years ago. I worked there for 10 years. I've just received my pension statement from the company they paid the pension too. It is still sitting there, safe and sound until I retire.

Of course, some Companies in the UK do rifle the pension scheme. Robert Maxwell and his Mirror newspaper, for example. I think it's called "fraud".

Is it really the case in the US that the pension scheme is dependant on the company remaining solvent and profitable? :confused:

keithwms
03-26-2012, 07:29 AM
Is it really the case in the US that the pension scheme is dependant on the company remaining solvent and profitable? :confused:

In this particular case, apparently it is. There should be an entirely separate entity, though... and most Americans have that, as far as I know. It's true though, it should be the rule that retirement savings are legally separate. But then we have the Federal govt dipping into social security funds, not exactly setting a good example. Most in my generation assume social security will be long gone by the time we retire.

CGW
03-26-2012, 07:53 AM
But then we have the Federal govt dipping into social security funds, not exactly setting a good example.

You're wildly OT but I'd really like a fiscally informed explanation of this, please.

Steve Smith
03-26-2012, 08:15 AM
Of course, some Companies in the UK do rifle the pension scheme. Robert Maxwell and his Mirror newspaper, for example. I think it's called "fraud".

I'm not certain but I think after this became public knowledge, controls were put in place to prevent it happening again.


Steve.

Michael R 1974
03-26-2012, 08:26 AM
[QUOTE=steven_e007;1321769] I've just received my pension statement from the company they paid the pension too. It is still sitting there, safe and sound until I retire.

QUOTE]

How do you know this for sure? The funds in a defined benefit plan are invested. What if those investments tank? At least in north America, the "funded" status of a defined benefit plan can quite quickly go from surplus to deficit. When that happens, the sponsoring company has to inject cash. If the company isn't in a healthy enough financial position to do that, what happens?

Where I work, at one point in the late 90s the fund was in such a massive surplus position due to the performance of the fund, it seemed inconceivable the plan could ever be in a deficit position. Well, that gigantic surplus completely evaporated and in recent years the company has had to inject cash into the fund. This is one of the reasons why new employees are now forced into a defined contribution plan.

railwayman3
03-26-2012, 08:27 AM
Of course, some Companies in the UK do rifle the pension scheme. Robert Maxwell and his Mirror newspaper, for example. I think it's called "fraud".


When Gordon Brown (UK Chancellor of the Exchequer) rifled Private Pensions Schemes in the late 1990's he called it "a reformation of the corporation tax system" rather than "fraud".
At least Robert Maxwell had a bit more style to him than most politicians.

keithwms
03-26-2012, 08:33 AM
But then we have the Federal govt dipping into social security funds, not exactly setting a good example.

You're wildly OT but I'd really like a fiscally informed explanation of this, please.

It's complicated ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund#Recent_attention

Basically, the health of the trust fund relies on the health of the Federal bond market; there is no stack of gold or whatever that is set aside. So borrow-and-spend practices directly endanger the solvency of the fund. If the US were to face, say, several years of 5% 10 yr bond yields such as we now see in Spain and Italy, the fund would be in severe danger.

CGW
03-26-2012, 08:56 AM
It's complicated ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund#Recent_attention

Basically, the health of the trust fund relies on the health of the Federal bond market; there is no stack of gold or whatever that is set aside. So borrow-and-spend practices directly endanger the solvency of the fund. If the US were to face, say, several years of 5% 10 yr bond yields such as we now see in Spain and Italy, the fund would be in severe danger.

Not quite...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/opinion/16krugman.html