Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 71,052   Posts: 1,561,190   Online: 937
      
Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 70

Thread: More on Kodak

  1. #51
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Carolina, USA (transplanted from Seattle)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,845
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    The real originator of that idea was Andrew Carnegie - when he wrote, "I have seen thousands of businesses fail - I have yet to see ONE fail because they paid the help too much!".
    That's an interesting statement from one of the original union busters, who went so far as to bring in armed guards who actually shot striking steel mill workers (with guns, not cameras) who had only wanted better wages for their grueling and very hazardous job. Carnegie won, as I recall -- that time -- and held onto his ability to control the price of everything that went into the steel, from the mine to the end user.

    What I suspect he meant was that what you pay the help isn't what will sink or float the company. I've worked in places that were descending into the pit even as I was earning $16/hr to answer the phone, and I've worked in places that were doing very, very well while I was barely earning a living wage for a job that required a lot of skill, knowledge, and willingness to deal with considerable physical risk. The pay of employees is a drop in the bucket of a healthy business, and most sick businesses wouldn't be helped if the employees worked for free -- you can't keep good help by underpaying them, but you can't keep good workers in a failing shop just by writing bigger checks.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  2. #52
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    That's an interesting statement from one of the original union busters, who went so far as to bring in armed guards who actually shot striking steel mill workers (with guns, not cameras) who had only wanted better wages for their grueling and very hazardous job.
    There is an assumption here that every strike ALWAYS takes place for one reason .. the "workers want more money." As in all sweeping generalizations, this is not *usually* the case. If I remember this strike had, as its purpose, CONTROL and authority over what was happening. At the time Unions were generally not favored by any management -- the idea was that Management would lose control of the business, bit by bit, by giving up too much to the uninformed workers.

    Interesting to track the position of the companies that succumb to the demands (or compromise to) the demands of the collective workers. Whether they like it or not, they invariably enjoy a greater level of profits/ success as a result, on the bottom line.

    I've been thinking of the "Tenured Professor" situation. What has to be addressed, in even this case, is the level of success of the University/ College.

    Do these "slackers" operate in failing institutions?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #53
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    23,262
    Images
    65
    Of course, driving down second avenue in Pittsburgh and seeing the miles long parking lot that was once a steel mill reminds me of how successful the union was in that case.

    The 13 week paid vacation and a few other benefits bankrupt the mills, and the 6 month long strike impoverished the workers for a small raise. You don't have to tell me, I lived through some pretty hard times there watching it all happen.

    OTOH, I've seen good things from unions, so they are a double edged sword just like many things. You have to use them properly or you lose rather than gain.

    I'm afraid greed is available in good quantity to both the managers and the workers. At least that is what I have seen.

    PE.

  4. #54
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
    Of course, driving down second avenue in Pittsburgh and seeing the miles long parking lot that was once a steel mill reminds me of how successful the union was in that case.
    The LAST thing I want to do is trivialize the pain, mutually shared by ALL, with the steel mill's slide into the tubes. Real PAIN. I've been caught in a similar scenario, myself.

    One question ... were there reductions in pay and benefits - and vacation times (either by management fiat, or by retiring/ getting rid of, in one way or another, those with extended seniority) before the final door closing?

    Chances are that did happen, as a last ditch effort to save the company. It usually does, with the best of intentions. The trouble is that strategy has NEVER worked.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #55
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    23,262
    Images
    65
    The short answer is "NO".

    The mill's decline went on as the unions made more and more demands, and management was literally forced to comply to stay in business.

    Suddenly, no more mills in Pittsburgh with wholesale layoffs and closings. The end was quite abrupt. Those mills that survived elsewhere in the US used more modern automated equipment and had very few workers to tend that equipment, thus making production much more efficient, but it was too little too late.

    The more modern Japanese steel mills (rebuilt with our money after we flattened them) were cranking out cheap steel with cheap labor and govt. subsidies. The newest plants were highly automated as well and many Japanese lost their jobs. Only there, if you do that (either management or worker bee) your exit is rather spectacular and messy. More than one manger or worker guilty of a severe error (or no job) ended up a victim of a tradition called seppuku. Our newspapers featured stories at that time.

    To some extent this has happened across the board in all US industry. We are now converting into a service based economy, and if this trend is not halted (along with the trade deficit) the dollar will have to be devalued, and eventually the US will begin the slide into second or third world status as it becomes unable to support its current life style due to the demands for higher wages and the balance of trade.

    Today, most high-tech jobs and menial labor is done by immigrant labor in the US. Both of these ends are not unionized, although good work has been done to unionize the fruit pickers. Some of them were literally forced to work in fields where spraying by insecticides were causing severe illness if not death. It was some time before it was recognized that malathion (deemed relatively safe) was oxidizing in the field to malaoxon which is deadly to humans. Union support helped the workers in this and other areas, if I still remember all of this correctly.

    I might add that talking to a broad cross section of middle managers from a number of fortune 500 companies, I have come to this conclusion. Kodak may be making a LOT of mistakes, but the management is well meaning, humane, and one of the most ethical group of managers in any of those top companies. That is one reason that Kodak has remained non-union and that it has a high degree of loyalty from its employees.

    PE

  6. #56

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Minnesota Tropics
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    I've been thinking of the "Tenured Professor" situation. What has to be addressed, in even this case, is the level of success of the University/ College.

    Do these "slackers" operate in failing institutions?
    Q: What's the difference between a C grade at Yale and the same at a State university?

    A: You have to work for the C at the State university.

  7. #57
    dr bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Annapolis, Md
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    871
    Images
    14
    Why not farm out all the manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. Make them responsible for poor quality control. No union worries there – there are none. Just push the button and order the product. Ebay has the best idea – no inventory or labor to contend with. Every posting brings cash, all done by computer without human intervention. The only expenses are computer and internet costs, IT and attorney contracts.

    One thing troubling me is that it seems that “no one” wants to work any more. I see lots of manual laborers working hard (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, roofers, gardeners, etc. But their supervisors seem to want to perform their duties by automation and remote control. A lot of this attitude is created by the operations of “The Government” as they try desperately to make everyone’s job completely free of responsibility. I.e. every time something “screws up”, some legislator will come up with another directive covering his/their arse. Pretty soon there are so many “laws”, directives, policies, etc. that “no one” is ever responsible for anything. On sails the ship while the crew sits in the wardroom drinking coffee – radar on remote and no one giving new direction but only reacting to perceived threats.

    The good captain will be ever vigilant to changes in conditions both inside and outside his ship. He will take care of each situation as they occur and strive to predict future situations and plan accordingly. This takes courage and fortitude – both of which seem to be missing in today’s supervisors and planners. The “bottom line” seems to be applicable only to themselves – never for the ship or the crew – or even for their clients.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  8. #58

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Minnesota Tropics
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by dr bob
    Why not farm out all the manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. Make them responsible for poor quality control. No union worries there – there are none. Just push the button and order the product.
    Sure. It's not just manufacturing. Let me tell you, the next time an imported M.D. is assigned to my case, I'm voting with my feet. When a doctor can't even speak proper English, and brings his third-world attitude to the bedside, he's not doing the medical profession any good.

    Just push a button. Put American laborers and craftsmen out of work, or kill one due to crappy medical practice.

  9. #59
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by dr bob
    The good captain will be ever vigilant to changes in conditions both inside and outside his ship. He will take care of each situation as they occur and strive to predict future situations and plan accordingly. This takes courage and fortitude – both of which seem to be missing in today’s supervisors and planners. The “bottom line” seems to be applicable only to themselves – never for the ship or the crew – or even for their clients.
    WELL said, especially the line about courage and fortitude. But ..."Seems" to be lacking?

    How well I remember the quote from J. Paul Getty, "You want to be successful? Look around, and see what everyone else is doing. Then .. don't do that."

    The Finns have a name for that .. it is called "sisu." Winston Churchill once defined "sisu" as "Testicular Fortitude."

    WE NEED that now ... not only is business but everywhere - especially in our Governments.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #60
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    4,520
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
    The short answer is "NO".
    The mill's decline went on as the unions made more and more demands, and management was literally forced to comply to stay in business.
    Suddenly, no more mills in Pittsburgh with wholesale layoffs and closings. The end was quite abrupt. Those mills that survived elsewhere in the US used more modern automated equipment and had very few workers to tend that equipment, thus making production much more efficient, but it was too little too late.
    I did not say the unions were totally blameless.

    Are you SURE there were NO attempts by management to cut labor costs? That would be unusual and surprising ... and the first time I've heard of a precipitous abandonment to failure - for the SOLE purpose of keeping the Union/s happy.

    If labor costs are so important ... what fraction of manufacturing costs of an automobile does labor represent, anyway? - Why are so many foreign manufacturers operating plants in the United States? Honda, Mercedes, Toyota...

    The more modern Japanese steel mills (rebuilt with our money after we flattened them) were cranking out cheap steel with cheap labor and govt. subsidies. The newest plants were highly automated as well and many Japanese lost their jobs....
    I was fortunate enough to talk to someone with first hand information about the Japanese recovery and their success after the War - G. Edwards Deming - Sent to Japan upon request of MacArthur to aid in reestablishing their industries. No, it wasn't done as you suggest - at least not in the recovery stage, when Deming was there.
    The two most significant actions were the decision of the Japanese to nearly eliminate their severe caste system - a conscious decision to modify their social structure; and rating everything in manufacturing - labor, machines everything - at 80% of their capacity -- I could go on, but enough is enough.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin