Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mixed opinions

We lost a lot of jobs over the last several years in the area. Good paying jobs. Living wage jobs. They moved Whirlpool to Mexico. Not once have I heard anyone say "thank God they moved my job to Mexico". Instead, a lot of families were tearful, wondering what they were going to live on. Where they were going to go. How they were going to be able to survive. I work with a few of them that came to work for our company when that occurred. The large number of people displaced by the closure were not absorbed by the industry in the area as there just weren't enough skilled openings available.

Recently, they closed most of the Alcoa facility, jobs again leaving the country. My neighbor and his family that live across the street from me were in tears. He was out of work for several months. He found a job to get by recently. He now has to travel forty five minutes each way. It doesn't pay near what he was making, and he gets to work 12 hour shifts that rotate between day and night shift with a one or two day break between swings. Most of his coworkers are still out of work.

Thanks to Obama's "lets put coal miners out of work" plan, most of the mines are being shut down. More people out of work, as well as a lot of the skilled labor that supports those jobs. Again, we hired a mere couple of people out of one of the coal company repair facilities as apprentices for the shop. They got a significant pay decrease and must go to school while working. And again, there are NOW, even less companies to hire the people put out of work as we have lost several industries to this loss of jobs. Hopefully, this part may recover somewhat as Trump will probably roll back a lot of the EPA regs that killed the coal industry down here.

It aggravates me to the core to hear idiots say that the jobs leaving the country are of little value. They are blue collar jobs nobody wants. Bullshit. There are a lot of people effected with each company moving jobs out of country. Many skilled high paying jobs. Many regular blue collar jobs. A whole bunch of supporting industry that supports these jobs. It devastates areas.

I for one, applaud the efforts of Trump for at least trying to salvage some jobs. I would like to see NAFTA scrapped altogether. A lot more jobs probably could have been kept in country simply by telling Carrier that we would be looking elsewhere for products they currently supply to the government, instead of the tax incentives he gave. That also would send a better message to other companies that are relocating overseas.

Labor is only one of many reasons companies go overseas. Regulations on industry in the USA are beyond ridiculous. Anyone that has to deal with OSHA knows how ridiculous they can get with some regulations. Not knocking OSHA, as it is necessary to get companies to comply with a safe environment, but, they take it to ridiculous and ludicrous levels on many of their regulations. It is easier to have a company out of country to get around this.

Another company killing regulation system is ISO 900X. Every year the number changes as do the stupid rules. We are a tool and die shop. We manufacture molds and rebuild molds for our plastics plants throughout the USA, as well as other companies. With ISO rules, every gage block, pin, micrometer, and measuring device of every type HAS to be sent out annually for "calibration" and certified, and recertified every single year. A lot of the stuff sent out is used in a crude fashion during setup. Almost every single thing we make is of high enough precision, it has to be measured and documented (in ISO fashion) on a CMM and paperwork accompanies part as well as filed for our use. So, as stated, most of the blocks and pins and such are for reference on the floor as the CMM is the final check. This does not matter to the ISO rules. What does this mean. Every single thing gets certified annually at great cost and inconvenience as the tools are missing from service during calibration period. If one of these items is off by so much as .0001", if fails and has to be replaced per ISO regulations. One member came up with a cost savings idea. Throw out the sets of pins and gages and buy new every year. Actually would be less costly than certifying tools and replacing individual gage pins and blocks. Nope. They found out this year that even brand new, name brand gages have to be certified. The certificates that come with the new gages is not good enough. The US is way over regulated. ISO is international, but the way it is handled in the US, I would probably move a company out of country if I had to adhere to these stupid regulation. We lose hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to this alone.

I value my blue collar job as do all my coworkers. I once again thank Trump for making an effort to save some jobs from going out of country. I hope in the future, instead of giving tax incentives, he may use government contract loss more of a tool. After all, if Carrier pulls out of country, they are no longer an American company. If you are going to use a foreign supplier, may as well choose one that didn't leave the country. Hit them in the pocket book instead of the taxpayers pocket book. Jobs leaving the country DO MATTER, all of them. Every single one of them.

1 comment:

  1. I am an ISO certified calibration technician, so I know what you're talking about. Our administrative work takes more time than the actual work. Plus, we have regulations and procedures from our customers, their customers, the feds AND ISO!! Our quality person laughs at us sometimes because we're "so nitpicky". We're frequently paralyzed by conflicting and unclear rules. All to the delay and expense of our customers....