|"Superman's" palace--RSA Boardroom|
The Huntsville Times called it “the ultimate recycling project.”
I call it “the ultimate Hat Trick.”--Bob Martin--The Montgomery Independent
Luring National Steel Car (NSC) to Alabama was hailed as a "victory" by former Governor Bob Riley in 2007. It was a short-lived economic win because, as Mr. Martin writes, "the company defaulted" on their loans and Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) became the new owners.
"Waiting For Superman"
David Bronner is the CEO of RSA.
Bronner has turned the brim around on the bad hat deal and found a tenant for the site in Navistar. It's deal that best hold together more cohesively than the last go around with NSC for Bronner's sake, but is there more to the Navistar announcement than meets the eye? Will the company's move result in a draining of union jobs in their northeast locations to the non-union right-to-work state of Alabama?
Navistar's Melrose Park, Illinois facility is almost the same square footage of the never materialized NSC facility in Alabama. Former employees aren't real happy (admittedly there is the potential for bias in their reviews) and describe the company as "stuck in the old ways...disorganized and less professional than competitors" along with this less-than-glowing accolade of the corporate environment at the Melrose Park location:
If you're a hard worker then management is more than happy to work the life out of you. Hard work, talent, and accomplishment as a rule do not lead to promotions, recognition, or advancement. The path to management is too often being loudest, brashest, most cut-throat person, not the most talented. Workplace politics, gossiping and rumors are excessive.If there's one thing we don't need in Alabama, it's the presence of another oligarchic corporation made worse by the exploitative nature of wage suppressing right-to-work laws. Odds are Alabamians will be paid less than their union counterparts and be subject to the whims of management who will have a freer hand in taking advantage of workers.
Navistar recently announced on October 6th the loss of 186 jobs (only 27 are non-union) at its Ft. Wayne, Indiana facility:
The company cites consolidation to its Chicago location, but the timing is a bit coincidental in light of the Alabama move in our opinion.FORT WAYNE – Fort Wayne will have 186 fewer jobs by the end of the year.Navistar International Corp. on Wednesday notified the state of plans to eliminate 106 union positions and 27 non-union jobs by Dec. 31.The cuts are scheduled to begin Dec. 2.
Republicans control Alabama on all levels of government and their disdain for unions is no secret--they've convinced the public (with the help of 'all right wing all the time' state radio) that unions are only a notch above chicken droppings in terms of value to society and companies interested in locating in Alabama:
(Governor) ...Bentley laid out an economic strategy that he said is designed to recruit new industry and help existing businesses to expand.Workers who belong to unions, however, have a different value determinant, and believe that union protection against corporate exploitation keeps them from being covered in droppings in terms of wages, rights, legislative representation and worker benefits.
One of the keys to job growth, he said, is Alabama's status as a right-to-work state. That status makes it difficult for labor unions to organize, because workers are not required to join a union as a condition of employment."There are companies across the world that won't even consider you unless you're a right-to-work state," he said. "Your Asian companies, they won't even talk to you. So they're not going to Michigan. They're not going to the Northeast. They're coming to Alabama, and we're happy to have them."
If Navistar saves this NSC site from just being an expensive "rent house" for the RSA, then kudos to Bronner, but we'll have to wait and see if the workers join in on the Bronner "superman" acclaim.
David Bronner's annual salary of $611,000.00 makes him the highest paid state employee on the rolls.
He should be capable of more than a hat trick or two at that taxpayer funded price!
Martin goes on to alert us to what he calls a "Montgomery Surprise." Leura Canary, former US Atty. for the Middle District of Alabama, has a new gig courtesy of Bronner (and Alabama taxpayer money) and she's joining Bronner's team of persuaders to better position RSA wants with the legislature's law making powers.
No need to hold the door for folks in positions of power in Alabama--many of them, like our former-governor-turned-lobbyist, tread easily on moving sidewalks leading to revolving doors of inside influence at the drop of a hat.Subscribe in a reader