A harrowing tale of decline

October 20, 2009
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If you like a good story, click here to read an Associated Press narrative of the bitter strike at the Vincent Bach plant in Elkhart.

It tells of workers who dug in their feet and struck the maker of high-end brass musical instruments only to be undermined by an equally stubborn company and “scabs” who slipped back into their jobs. Now the holdouts are struggling to survive in jobs paying nowhere near the solidly middle-class livings they enjoyed.

The union and company both are portrayed as acting out of fear—Bach positioning itself to survive an onslaught of inexpensive Chinese imports.

The three-year strike wasn’t a happy experience for anyone. The police were called out 300 times.

Any thoughts about the story? How about the larger issue of well-paid Americans betting that their experience as craftsmen makes them indispensable?

 

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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