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Watching a program on the Gruman Hellcat WWII navy fighter plane -Gruman's factory and workers

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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:00 AM
Original message
Watching a program on the Gruman Hellcat WWII navy fighter plane -Gruman's factory and workers
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 11:00 AM by old mark
in Bethpage, Long Island, hired huge numbers of unskilled people, trained them in the company's ways of doing things such as riveting, welding, etc...they worked very long hours at dull repetitive jobs, but Gruman paid very well, provided child care for workers, provided entertainment in the plant at lunch breaks, held classes in the factory in such things as growing gardens. They provided a car service to pick up workers who could not find another way to work or home.
They treated their employees very well, and many spoke of the company as a family.
Result: Gruman wanted to produce 40 completed Hellcat fighters per month, which was considered impossible. That goal was soon achieved, and eventually 65 planes per month was the average rate.
People LOVED to work for Gruman, and Gruman treated them like valued human beings. And they set records for quantity and QUALITY products.
My dad worked for Sears after WWII, made a good living and got a lot of bonuses in company stock. He was able to retire at 55, with a large amount if invested cash, stock and real estate. He turned 93 in January, still living well on his investments from Sears stock given by the company...and he was one of many..(He was no exec, but an appliance salesman).

I wonder what happened to these ideas.

I remember the "lean and mean" ideal in factories and corporations, and later as a Steward in the healthcare field, and I know workers in these situations today who are taking prescription tranquelizers in order to be able to continue work. Many people today face heart disease, clinical depression and other stress related health problems caused by pressures of work in a hostile environment. Many employees in our hospital died of cancer.

The idea of treating employees well seems to have vanished completely.

What happened to this country? Why have we become such an evil place to our own people?

mark
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. NAFTA
WTO

We forced American workers to compete with people who have no OSHA or other protections.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. More money to be made shorting the US of A.
When you run a country like a business, intangibles like commonwealth get quickly discounted.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Blue Blood sons of privilege and MBA programs promoting Neo Conservative and Neo Liberal BS is what
happened. The richest 1/2 of 1% have`bought and paid for our political parties and process.

VIVA
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. Corporate profits for traded companies must increase year over year, every year
that has to come from somewhere. Growth for any company or any market is not limitless. Soon enough you've sold to all the people who can buy, and unless a new continent is discovered, or your stable competitors decide to pack it in, your market is about as large as it will get. Somehow, making new versions of the same stuff has to become more profitable. How can you do that? Taking it out of the people who work for you was an inevitable outcome in capitalist logic. Doing that (on a society wide basis) will contract the pool of people who have money to buy your goods. If the raw materials aren't in a price collapsing spiral, you will have to make the goods cheaper, crappier, less durable. You will feel even more pressure to shed workers and pay them less. You will want to break any unions that still affect your production chain. Perhaps you can move the factory to take advantage of rightless, starvation wage coolie labor abroad in foreign dictatorships, or else move your factory to the Mexican border and sneak coolie labor into the country... You're going to need political cover for any of these options, so get out your checkbook and start buying some Democrats. The Republicans would be glad to help you out for the usual fee, but they won't always be in power and you need to keep their "opposition" quiet, too, to be sure of succeess. It will take many years to free yourself of the American worker, and you will need the quiet protection that can only come from well-placed, paid off reliably complicit politicians.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. I think all of you are right - the way workers are treated also reflects the
prevailing views of the country itself as a whole...the US is changing rapidly into someplace veru different than it was, even 30 years ago, and I believe we are the only people who are very concerned about this.


mark
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I want my country back!
the teabaggers have it wrong - I want a country with unionized blue collar workers, with a public education system second to none, and where the average high school graduate could still expect to raise a family on his wages
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah! That is the country I remember when I left high school, back in 1965.
I guess I'm just getting old, but if this is going to be the 21st century, I don't want it.

mark
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