Harley job cuts - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 30 Old 04-17-2008, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Harley job cuts

Not sure if this is the right place to post but I was saddened to see that Harley is laying off over 700 employees due to lagging sales. Yes, you can argue they are over-priced rolling, rattling, leaking lounge chairs or the greatest thing since sliced bread.

It just saddens me that the bad economic times are affecting many small as well as large companies like this.

As a fan of 2 wheeled nirvana it bothered me. Apologies to the mods if this is wrong place, move at your discretion.

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post #2 of 30 Old 04-17-2008, 03:32 PM
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Nope, it saddens me when people loose their job but, to be honest, most of those employees deserve a swift kick in the ass (if not the head). as far as customer service go, they are the most abnoxious people I know in the industry (your miles may very of course!) and I am not saying the Japanese Dealers are the opposite but, the majority of them deserve that and more for the arrogance they show while at work. Now, the sad part is because they have a wife and children to take care off... that is the sad part.

Now, don't you go thinking that the fault lies with the employee, the brass has more fault than anyone here.

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post #3 of 30 Old 04-17-2008, 03:35 PM
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Its been widly accepted that whe nHD does well, the whole of motorcycling does well - With Honda stopping Us production and HD cutting jobs, I wonder whats next .But, that having been said Suzuki is rocking along - third year of double digit sales increases ! Look out Yamaha !

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post #4 of 30 Old 04-29-2009, 05:40 PM
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It fits with my experiance from the last month, I fully intended to buy a new Harley after not having one for more than 25 years, and I went shopping for one about a month ago now. I found a few that fit me ergonomically (albiet a tad on the small side..have Harley's gotten smaller?), new, and i wanted a new bike, they were all around 22-23K after the dealer mark-ups and DOC fees, that was kind of a shock right there. I asked the dealer what kind of room he might have on that 22K+ price and he said I can throw in a $500.00 gift certificate for the accessory shop...let's see $500.00 at retail + $225.00 at cost or so..WOW that's my "DEAL"...$250.00 off sticker price on a 22K bike. I told the guy I was going to pay cash for a bike this week and would he like to reconsider his "discount structure" a bit? He said "NO, if you don't buy it someone else will" and walked away from me. So if you are wondering why Harley is laying off people it might have something to do with the fact that I bought a Yamaha Star Roadliner S the next day from a dealer who was excited to sell me a new bike and gave me a HECK of a deal to earn my cash. I rode home on a new bike and $10,000.00 of unspent Harley Money in my pocket! Money I will be spending to accessorize my Roadliner at my Yamaha Dealer. I could have bought the Harley but the dealer's atitude made me feel like I would be a fool for doing so. And to tell the truth the Roadliner is a better fit for me at 6'5" and 250lbs..but I never would have gotten as far as the Yamaha dealer if I had been treated like a valued prospect at HD. Jim

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post #5 of 30 Old 04-29-2009, 06:00 PM
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What's sad is how many biz were based on a total false economy and congress approved exporting millions of jobs! Bring our jobs back!

I never appreciated Big Iron cruisers. Although HD now offers a medium size standard twin that is very interesting and I'd love to ride it. Hopefully that's a sign of things turning around.

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post #6 of 30 Old 04-29-2009, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JBLee View Post
It fits with my experiance from the last month, I fully intended to buy a new Harley after not having one for more than 25 years, and I went shopping for one about a month ago now. I found a few that fit me ergonomically (albiet a tad on the small side..have Harley's gotten smaller?), new, and i wanted a new bike, they were all around 22-23K after the dealer mark-ups and DOC fees, that was kind of a shock right there. I asked the dealer what kind of room he might have on that 22K+ price and he said I can throw in a $500.00 gift certificate for the accessory shop...let's see $500.00 at retail + $225.00 at cost or so..WOW that's my "DEAL"...$250.00 off sticker price on a 22K bike. I told the guy I was going to pay cash for a bike this week and would he like to reconsider his "discount structure" a bit? He said "NO, if you don't buy it someone else will" and walked away from me. So if you are wondering why Harley is laying off people it might have something to do with the fact that I bought a Yamaha Star Roadliner S the next day from a dealer who was excited to sell me a new bike and gave me a HECK of a deal to earn my cash. I rode home on a new bike and $10,000.00 of unspent Harley Money in my pocket! Money I will be spending to accessorize my Roadliner at my Yamaha Dealer. I could have bought the Harley but the dealer's atitude made me feel like I would be a fool for doing so. And to tell the truth the Roadliner is a better fit for me at 6'5" and 250lbs..but I never would have gotten as far as the Yamaha dealer if I had been treated like a valued prospect at HD. Jim
That seems to be the attitude at the HD dealers here in Ft. Wayne. The only one that took the time to even talk to me when I was first looking at bikes was the Owner of Jim Bailey's. His employees couldn't have cared that I was in the show room, but when he walk by he asked if he could do anything for me. We hit it off and spent about an hour just shooting the sheit. He show an actual intrest (real or not) in my needs. Later when I stopped in to look at the new Buell 1125R he spotted the 9'er and couldn't leave it alone, seemed to really like it.

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post #7 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 05:36 AM
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I'd better not get started on my Harley dealership rant, you think I had problems with Canadians.......

Anyway -

I have some friends that work at the KC plant, they were given their notice a while back, and Harley told them that they MIGHT call them back, up to 2 years, but consider it permanent.....

Then, they made all those workers bust a nut to meet higher production goals - anyone want to guess if anything happened to quality control?

Any of the white collar workers get laid off, or just the workin' folks?

Oh yeah, insult to injury, the guys I know that worked for Harley bought and ride Harleys -

FINANCED BY HARLEY

Talk about a bad feeling making those payments......

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post #8 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 05:59 AM
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its never good when anyone loses their job, but how long did HD honeslty think people were going to pay 20k for out of date technology and a name?

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post #9 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 06:19 AM
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Unfortunetly HD is in the same boat as the US auto mfgs. The only reason a HD costs $20k is the amount of dollars being spent to employ a union brake lever installer with a back up installer ready to jump on the job in case brake lever installer 1 needs a nap.
I feel for anyone that has to face being unemployed but in some companies it is the employee that ties the hand of the employer. When times are good it is easy for the employer to concede to the demands of the unions to keep production moving but when the need for production slows the employer has the overhead costs to deal with and the employee becomes expendable. We are all victims of our own devices.

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post #10 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wisco919 View Post
Unfortunetly HD is in the same boat as the US auto mfgs. The only reason a HD costs $20k is the amount of dollars being spent to employ a union brake lever installer with a back up installer ready to jump on the job in case brake lever installer 1 needs a nap.
I feel for anyone that has to face being unemployed but in some companies it is the employee that ties the hand of the employer. When times are good it is easy for the employer to concede to the demands of the unions to keep production moving but when the need for production slows the employer has the overhead costs to deal with and the employee becomes expendable. We are all victims of our own devices.
That's true, and well reported on but by the same token the upper echelon of vehicle manufacturing employees make an obscene amount too. They could take a cut, being as their policies and plans are the ones hurting the company not the brake lever installer. One bonus for the guy's screwing it up is enough to employ 15-20 employees for a year who are just doing their job.

I'm not union and don't like what they've (UAW) done to the auto industry but EVERYONE is taking 15 gallons of mead from a 10 gallon keg.

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post #11 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 06:53 AM
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That's true, and well reported on but by the same token the upper echelon of vehicle manufacturing employees make an obscene amount too. They could take a cut, being as their policies and plans are the ones hurting the company not the brake lever installer. One bonus for the guy's screwing it up is enough to employ 15-20 employees for a year who are just doing their job.

I'm not union and don't like what they've (UAW) done to the auto industry but EVERYONE is taking 15 gallons of mead from a 10 gallon keg.
I would have to challenge that statement. The culture developed in so many of the more "powerful" union environments is absolutely insane! When an employee will not pick-up after themselves, even their lunch mess, and says that it is not their job and we have housekeeping for that. We have problems. I cannot agree with feeling bad of some that lose their jobs. Many should have lost their jobs long ago! And, the ones that never spoke up and just went along with the flow ... you also deserved to lose your job!

H-D has done some decent things to improve their processes, policies, procedures and quality of their product. But, they also have alot of union dead weight and fat. Adios! Sadly, based on the seniority issues. Many of the worst still stay and many of the best are let go!

Jobs based on performance at all levels and not seniority!

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post #12 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 08:14 AM
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its never good when anyone loses their job, but how long did HD honeslty think people were going to pay 20k for out of date technology and a name?
As long as goons with low IQ's, who drink bourbon, do drugs, and get covered in skull and knife tats, have done time, who wear open face helmets and Jreb boots, have enough money left over from running meth labs, there will always be HD sales!

I just wish I had a dollar for every HD bought with drug money or the proceeds of crime!

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post #13 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 08:21 AM
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That seems to be the attitude at the HD dealers here in Ft. Wayne. The only one that took the time to even talk to me when I was first looking at bikes was the Owner of Jim Bailey's. His employees couldn't have cared that I was in the show room, but when he walk by he asked if he could do anything for me. We hit it off and spent about an hour just shooting the sheit. He show an actual intrest (real or not) in my needs. Later when I stopped in to look at the new Buell 1125R he spotted the 9'er and couldn't leave it alone, seemed to really like it.
Same here on Long Island. I went to Harley with my bro-inlaw to get spark plugs for his FX??? Anyway, I sat on everythin in the showroom exept for the sporties, NO ONE talked to me... Then we went next door to Yami/Kawi/Duc, I did't even get past the first bike, " Hey buddy, what are you lookin for" I told him I wasn't buying anything! He laughed and asked if I had any ?'s and BS'd for 20 min on bikes... other customers in the store, he didn't care. Ya know what, when the Busa comes home, I'll buy it from him!

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post #14 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by wisco919 View Post
Unfortunetly HD is in the same boat as the US auto mfgs. The only reason a HD costs $20k is the amount of dollars being spent to employ a union brake lever installer with a back up installer ready to jump on the job in case brake lever installer 1 needs a nap.
I feel for anyone that has to face being unemployed but in some companies it is the employee that ties the hand of the employer. When times are good it is easy for the employer to concede to the demands of the unions to keep production moving but when the need for production slows the employer has the overhead costs to deal with and the employee becomes expendable. We are all victims of our own devices.
Yep, it's the fault of unions.

If only America had no unions just like in China, all those American jobs wouldn't be in China, they would be back in America, and HD's would only cost $3000 in China. And nobody in America would be able to buy a HD because they would be paid a week. Yeah, damn unions!

However, I've noticed a trend. How is it when jobs and manufacturing goes 'offshore' AKA Third World Country, the goods imported back in to the country where they were once made, never get any cheaper? How is that? Yeh, more union sabotage I bet.

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post #15 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 08:49 AM
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Its been widly accepted that whe nHD does well, the whole of motorcycling does well - With Honda stopping Us production and HD cutting jobs, I wonder whats next .But, that having been said Suzuki is rocking along - third year of double digit sales increases ! Look out Yamaha !
The motorcycle industry just did not see the slow down coming, just like the car mfg's. Honda for example shut down production this past April for one month cause they said they still had new 07 & 08's still in the crates at the distribution warehouses. I know we since Sept 08 thru last month were still buying new 07 atv's Ranchers and Ricons still new in the crate and selling them at reduced prices. Honda said they were cutting some 09 productions on certain models until the left over 07 & 08's were sold down.

As far as Harley goes it totally amazed me a couple of months ago when their finance division was out of money and they borrowed 300 million from Warren Buffett's company and another finance source for another 300 million both loans at 15% interest. And they are making loans to consumers below the 15%. Go figure that!

The attutude of the different dealers that were spoken of in this topic thread is just a example of the good vs the bad. And if the economy does not pickup soon the bad will go out of business and the good will survive.

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post #16 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 09:08 AM
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Yep, it's the fault of unions.

If only America had no unions just like in China, all those American jobs wouldn't be in China, they would be back in America, and HD's would only cost $3000 in China. And nobody in America would be able to buy a HD because they would be paid a week. Yeah, damn unions!
It is pretty hard to compare US manufacturing to that of China. We had our industrial revolution almost a century ago and have since developed programs that protect wages and employees. That was the original intent of the Labor Unions which was taken way to far.

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post #17 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 09:10 AM
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I am not pro-union, I've got a story on why but not now -

What I am going to say is this.

The guys I know that work in KC do not make a fortune, $18.00 an hour I believe.

And they work their butts off, it is not a gravy job.

Before too many on you jump on the "let's beat the union workers down" you might want to think about where you heard they were on easy street, because it's not true.

At least not in Kansas City, they earn their keep, and then some.......

OK - now why I am not pro-union. My grandfather ran a garment factory in a small town in Illinois. When I was a kid, very young, I remember the Union reps coming in to see him, they were in the classic suits and ties of the time. He would hand them a "package" and they would be on thier way.

When he died, my father would not play their game, and they forced a vote to turn the plant into a union shop. I remember my Dad saying that we would have to close the plant because we could not afford to pay what they were demanding, and I asked him why he could not tell the employees that, he said he couldn't -

Well, they voted to go union and the shop closed, everyone lost their jobs......

I remember all of that too well, and it left a really bad taste in my mouth regarding unions.

Quitting now before I get all wound up is a good idea.

Cya

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post #18 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wisco919 View Post
It is pretty hard to compare US manufacturing to that of China. We had our industrial revolution almost a century ago and have since developed programs that protect wages and employees. That was the original intent of the Labor Unions which was taken way to far.
Not sure where he comes from but he lives in AUS - take his insight with a grain of salt Wisco.

Unions once had a time and place.... those are both long gone. Now? They currently ruin just about every industry they are in. Some fast, some slow. Its a joke what they ask for in negotiations... what they TAKE from their 'employees' = dues, fees, benefits, and they all have an entitlement mentality.

The industrties that can fight the red tape and process that XX speaks of above will be the ones that can last the longest. But when you cant have a carpenter actually clean up after himself because well.... thats a Laborer's job... something isnt right. Or an equipment operator cant get out of the cab of his excavator to do - well ANYTHING! You have a problem. When the decisions of the Company on how to manage and staff a project are taken out of their own hands and put into the hands of some entity that cares nothing about your actual production or profitability... I see no good in that. It can turn simple little 3 man crews into 5 and 6 man work forces... where literally... people are waiting on each other.

WTF does a union know about running a business anyway? And they make the rules by which we have to operate under?

I just bid 2 weeks ago a project to construct a new building for a Union Local in town. You would not believe the #'s submitted on this thing. I'm signatory to a handful of the major agreements. And I still was 35% higher because of all the anticipated headaches dealing with them. Across the board... every General saw it the same way. In this economy - thats telling.

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post #19 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 07:29 PM
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Wallmart closed at least one but maybe two stores in North America because they forced a union vote and the union was voted in.

Claimed slow sales...

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post #20 of 30 Old 07-01-2009, 07:39 PM
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I am not pro-union, I've got a story on why but not now -

What I am going to say is this.

The guys I know that work in KC do not make a fortune, $18.00 an hour I believe.

And they work their butts off, it is not a gravy job.

Before too many on you jump on the "let's beat the union workers down" you might want to think about where you heard they were on easy street, because it's not true.

At least not in Kansas City, they earn their keep, and then some.......

OK - now why I am not pro-union. My grandfather ran a garment factory in a small town in Illinois. When I was a kid, very young, I remember the Union reps coming in to see him, they were in the classic suits and ties of the time. He would hand them a "package" and they would be on thier way.

When he died, my father would not play their game, and they forced a vote to turn the plant into a union shop. I remember my Dad saying that we would have to close the plant because we could not afford to pay what they were demanding, and I asked him why he could not tell the employees that, he said he couldn't -

Well, they voted to go union and the shop closed, everyone lost their jobs......

I remember all of that too well, and it left a really bad taste in my mouth regarding unions.

Quitting now before I get all wound up is a good idea.

Cya
One of my first jobs out of school in <I think 76> was at a corrugated box plant,trust me you don't ever want to work at one.But it was union and paid well.I lasted almost a year the worst president of my life was in office and well it seems like a bad nightmare all over again.

The plant closed down a couple of years later because of union demands,the only time I ever worked for a union thank god.

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post #21 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 08:05 AM
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I would have to challenge that statement. The culture developed in so many of the more "powerful" union environments is absolutely insane! When an employee will not pick-up after themselves, even their lunch mess, and says that it is not their job and we have housekeeping for that. We have problems. I cannot agree with feeling bad of some that lose their jobs. Many should have lost their jobs long ago! And, the ones that never spoke up and just went along with the flow ... you also deserved to lose your job!

H-D has done some decent things to improve their processes, policies, procedures and quality of their product. But, they also have alot of union dead weight and fat. Adios! Sadly, based on the seniority issues. Many of the worst still stay and many of the best are let go!

Jobs based on performance at all levels and not seniority!
I agree with you. I am not union and opted out of one. I also have never worked in a heavy union shop. My point was no one is laying off the Admins. I have seen a couple publicity stunts where they didn't take a bonus but they're still making 250k a year. They are the ones (Harleys management) deciding to stick with age old technology and overcharge for it, not the brake line installer. Why should he lose his job and not the idiot that decided to make the bikes for doctors. That is what is killing the company, not a dirty workspace. As I said, the unions are hurting them with overly inflated wages and obscene benefits. And lazy "that's not my job" people are everywhere, they are not limited to a union. They need to be canned regardless, as well as the lazy marketing, [email protected], Engineers, CEO and everyone who decided Harley Davidson was above having to improve their product to justify raising their prices. Shit, fire them all for all I care, just don't leave out the people who ran it's sales into the ground.

And as far as seniority over performance. I've never seen anyone get a job, union or not, that "deserved" it. I've heard of such lofty dreams at progressive companies but in my field it's part of the politics of professional life.

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post #22 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 08:20 AM
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I agree with you. I am not union and opted out of one. I also have never worked in a heavy union shop. My point was no one is laying off the Admins. I have seen a couple publicity stunts where they didn't take a bonus but they're still making 250k a year. They are the ones (Harleys management) deciding to stick with age old technology and overcharge for it, not the brake line installer. Why should he lose his job and not the idiot that decided to make the bikes for doctors. That is what is killing the company, not a dirty workspace. As I said, the unions are hurting them with overly inflated wages and obscene benefits. And lazy "that's not my job" people are everywhere, they are not limited to a union. They need to be canned regardless, as well as the lazy marketing, [email protected], Engineers, CEO and everyone who decided Harley Davidson was above having to improve their product to justify raising their prices. ###t, fire them all for all I care, just don't leave out the people who ran it's sales into the ground.

And as far as seniority over performance. I've never seen anyone get a job, union or not, that "deserved" it. I've heard of such lofty dreams at progressive companies but in my field it's part of the politics of professional life.
H-D has actually been a profit monster for years! They gave their markets exactly what they wanted and sold it at a price that the buyers were willing to pay. Hats off to the CEO and management. They have made stakeholders lots of money! Kudos to them. The entire market is in a tough position at this time. Changes need to be made.

If you are a brake installer losing your job, don't blame the management. Blame yourself first.

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post #23 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 08:34 AM
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As long as goons with low IQ's, who drink bourbon, do drugs, and get covered in skull and knife tats, have done time, who wear open face helmets and Jreb boots, have enough money left over from running meth labs, there will always be HD sales!

I just wish I had a dollar for every HD bought with drug money or the proceeds of crime!
now ya see, thats not right. harley riders USED to fit that description. now harley riders are all bank employees and sit behind desks all day and put on the gear and ride the bike on the weekends so they think they are bad ass. and honestly, iv known a few people like the ones you described, a few 1% ers, and they are nice people.

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post #24 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 08:54 AM
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a few 1% ers, and they are nice people.
the tattoo shop i held a chair in was owned by the president for the louisiana chapter of the banditos...

and for the most part they were really nice guys...

couple of d-heads tossed in the mix but thats everywhere you go....



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post #25 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 10:51 AM
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If you are a brake installer losing your job, don't blame the management. Blame yourself first.
I am an IT admin and graduate student, not likely to be fired from either. If Harley were truly in such grand shape, why the layoffs?

Two wheelin for the feelin.
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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I am an IT admin and graduate student, not likely to be fired from either. If Harley were truly in such grand shape, why the layoffs?
WERE is the word... WERE.... but not anymore.

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post #27 of 30 Old 07-03-2009, 05:47 AM
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I am an IT admin and graduate student, not likely to be fired from either. If Harley were truly in such grand shape, why the layoffs?
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WERE is the word... WERE.... but not anymore.
actually the word is "WAS"... but who am i the grammar police....



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post #28 of 30 Old 07-03-2009, 08:37 AM
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post #29 of 30 Old 07-04-2009, 05:28 AM
One then the other
 
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Not sure where he comes from but he lives in AUS - take his insight with a grain of salt Wisco.

Unions once had a time and place.... those are both long gone. Now? They currently ruin just about every industry they are in. Some fast, some slow. Its a joke what they ask for in negotiations... what they TAKE from their 'employees' = dues, fees, benefits, and they all have an entitlement mentality.

The industrties that can fight the red tape and process that XX speaks of above will be the ones that can last the longest. But when you cant have a carpenter actually clean up after himself because well.... thats a Laborer's job... something isnt right. Or an equipment operator cant get out of the cab of his excavator to do - well ANYTHING! You have a problem. When the decisions of the Company on how to manage and staff a project are taken out of their own hands and put into the hands of some entity that cares nothing about your actual production or profitability... I see no good in that. It can turn simple little 3 man crews into 5 and 6 man work forces... where literally... people are waiting on each other.

WTF does a union know about running a business anyway? And they make the rules by which we have to operate under?

I just bid 2 weeks ago a project to construct a new building for a Union Local in town. You would not believe the #'s submitted on this thing. I'm signatory to a handful of the major agreements. And I still was 35% higher because of all the anticipated headaches dealing with them. Across the board... every General saw it the same way. In this economy - thats telling.
Hey buds, I know one thing. There is a difference between a union, and organised crime. The problem is you will never know which one is a legit union, and one that isn't, that takes the "package" every month. You won't also know which union is used by organised crime to help "shut down" the competition. I've seen it happen in Australia, and I wouldn't think it is any better in the US.

I'm pro union, but very anti organised crime.

Growing old is compulsory. Growing up is optional.
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post #30 of 30 Old 07-04-2009, 05:33 AM
One then the other
 
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the tattoo shop i held a chair in was owned by the president for the louisiana chapter of the banditos...

and for the most part they were really nice guys...

couple of d-heads tossed in the mix but thats everywhere you go....
Yeah, I work in a prison, and all the bandito's, and other outlaw bikers, are really nice guys as well.

Except they murdered people. Usually so they could make more money cooking and selling speed.

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