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Old 05-20-2017, 07:40 AM  
68bucks
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This is when it comes down to us to keep things quality made in America. If we as a nation pushed for it we would get it, If we wanted once in a lifetime items they would make them.

just got off the phone with my grandfather, He said the unions were a big part of why he left Sweden. When he worked for Firestone and Aerojet they were not union at his plants, he said Aerojet went out because of the unions. He was telling how nothing ever got accomplished at the union factories. He was just telling a story about one of the testing facilities he would visit to test whatever he was working on, he would need to tighten a couple screws, they would have to call for the proper union person to come and tighten those two screws because he was not allowed to use a screwdriver. He said it would take up to a few hours to get a screw turned a half a turn. It would take a team of people and ten times longer than it should with just one trained person. I try and listen to alot of what he has to say because he grew up when everything in our world was changing, he saw it all first hand from the depression to damn near flying cars. Just a week or two ago he was telling me about kids toys and how my kids have so much stuff. He said when he was a kid his bedroom was maybe 6 x 10 and it didn't feel small, he said everything was smaller back then. He was saying how he had maybe two or three toys at a time and he used his imagination with them. For him growing up was an outdoor thing, those couple toys were for when the weather was bad. He probably put more miles on a bicycle than any youth today.

I guess the moral of the story is that people were more content and humbled in the past, they had what they needed and were happy with that.
Wow Chris I'm really surprised that Firestone especially wasn't union back then. You're grandfather is right about how much "stuff" people have now. Of course there are a lot more things to have. You don't even need to go that far back really. I'm 56 and when I was a kid we played outside because there wasn't anything to do inside really. We played in the woods, went fishing, rode our bikes a lot. I bet I put more miles on my bike in one summer than my son did in his whole life. Of course there were no personal computers back then. Heck my high school didn't have a single computer in it when I graduated including the administration offices. Times change.

I'm sort of neutral on the whole union thing really. I worked for a couple when I was young but the last 35 years I have worked for a great non-union company. However my father and uncle were both union presidents at one point so I have been drilled on unions forever and I understand and appreciate their contribution to all American workers. The issue with extreme specialization like the guy with the screwdriver is what has given unions a bad rap and deservedly so. Its also interesting how your grandfather left Europe to get away from unions. I had a long talk with a guy from Germany once about business and unions in particular. I guess there most everybody is in a union but he unions work closely in partnership with the companies. They sit on boards and they work together to make the business better for everyone. Not the adversarial situation we have here. He was in management and not in the union but had only good to say about them for the most part.
Out of curiosity I looked up Aerojet. Sounds like a lot of their problems came from pollution at some of their plant sites. A couple of them are superfund sites. Corporations love to close the doors or merge when they have problems like that to get out from under the problems. They merged with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 2013. They were owned before that by General Tire. I guess their main customer was the government and military. That helped them grow really fast in the early 40's due to the war I suppose.


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Old 05-20-2017, 08:33 AM  
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Wow Chris I'm really surprised that Firestone especially wasn't union back then. You're grandfather is right about how much "stuff" people have now. Of course there are a lot more things to have. You don't even need to go that far back really. I'm 56 and when I was a kid we played outside because there wasn't anything to do inside really. We played in the woods, went fishing, rode our bikes a lot. I bet I put more miles on my bike in one summer than my son did in his whole life. Of course there were no personal computers back then. Heck my high school didn't have a single computer in it when I graduated including the administration offices. Times change.

I'm sort of neutral on the whole union thing really. I worked for a couple when I was young but the last 35 years I have worked for a great non-union company. However my father and uncle were both union presidents at one point so I have been drilled on unions forever and I understand and appreciate their contribution to all American workers. The issue with extreme specialization like the guy with the screwdriver is what has given unions a bad rap and deservedly so. Its also interesting how your grandfather left Europe to get away from unions. I had a long talk with a guy from Germany once about business and unions in particular. I guess there most everybody is in a union but he unions work closely in partnership with the companies. They sit on boards and they work together to make the business better for everyone. Not the adversarial situation we have here. He was in management and not in the union but had only good to say about them for the most part.
Out of curiosity I looked up Aerojet. Sounds like a lot of their problems came from pollution at some of their plant sites. A couple of them are superfund sites. Corporations love to close the doors or merge when they have problems like that to get out from under the problems. They merged with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 2013. They were owned before that by General Tire. I guess their main customer was the government and military. That helped them grow really fast in the early 40's due to the war I suppose.
I am 37 and I grew up the same way. I didn't have TV in my house until I was about 15. Computers where just starting out when I was a kid, my brother was all into them and I just never had any interest. When the sun was up I was outside riding my bike around town, I bet I spent more miles and time just seeing if a friend was home then actually playing with my friends. I had my own fishing boat at age 12 so I spent a lot of time on the lake.

As for Aerojet I don't know all that much about it, I know most of his work was for military, his team developed ammunition for a lot of years and he worked with the A-10 a lot. His team also helped redevelop the air bag in the early 70's. I will see him next week and pick his brain more on why he felt the unions were a big part of leaving Sweden. He said he hates the unions so I am curious to why. I think alot of it is that he is a very efficient person, everything must be thought out, done once and done right. I think it must have been that screwdriver mentality that ruined him of it but I will find out. His father ran a sawmill in Sweden that he eventually bought and I have heard stories about that and the union so maybe that is where it comes from.

As for me I think the unions had their time and place but nowadays they seem to push business overseas with requests that are just not doable for some companies.




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