Colt is dying a slow and very public death. Once a major firearms manufacturer, the storied gunamker lost their government manufacturing contracts to FN and others, gradually ran out of cash and filed for Chapter 11 protection in June. Now the end is near, and the very same people responsible for the terrible decisions that drove Colt to bankruptcy are asking a judge to secure their multi-million dollar golden parachutes. At the same time they are trying to weasel out of a provision that would keep them paying their union employees until the end of their contract. From The Courant . . .
Colt Holding Company is asking a bankruptcy judge to approve golden parachutes that could be as high as a full year’s salary for nine top executives.
Colt’s request, totaling millions of dollars, comes as the company is trying to wipe out $350 million in debt that it owes to creditors, chiefly bondholders.
The company is also trying to break a provision in the union contract that guarantees the rank-and-file production workers — about 500 members of the United Auto Workers union — can keep their current compensation through the end of their contract in March 2019.
If all nine received the top of the bonus range, it would total $2.53 million.
Whatever happens to Colt in its current form, someone will probably take control of the brand and seek to reinvigorate it. Fans of the legendary Python shouldn’t hold their breath; the skills and tooling needed to make the revolver a reality once again are long gone. Current Colt employees, however, should hold theirs. The new owners will most likely hire back at least some of the workers. One would hope.
As if any executive deserves a bonus for failing to keep the company in operation.
when I am President that will NOT happen. mrpresident2016.com
I don’t know which is less likely, that you would win the presidency, or that if you did, you’d be able to stop very wealthy people from doing whatever the hell they want…
You’re a loony.
yes someone buy company, kick out unions in any form and never let back in.
do wage in stages based on skills, NOT time at the job! offer 401k/IRAs with matching of 10% plus 5% discount for healthcare costs for fitness classes taken before work. and up 10% bonus for long term investments. total of 25% of pay.
this was part my system and kept out unions. everyone was at work early, most took our free after work classes in finance/prep for their future. they were healthy and prepared. wages were stable and predictable. plus everyone had a plan with a good level of control. only requirement for bonus/sharing was that all investment were through a qualified group and we were able to verify all investments.
lol $500 to your brothers idea did not count. lol
All that “401k” junk is just an excuse to withhold employees wages, while dangling a carrot they will never be allowed to eat.
+1 to what Gordon Wagner said … no executive deserves a bonus for running a company into bankruptcy.
I generally agree, with one caveat (and I already suspect this is going to be an unpopular opinion).
Sometimes an exec will take on a position at a company they know is failing with the intent of turning it around. In that case, the exec is a fool is they don’t ask for some kind of hedge against failure (because things don’t always turn out they way we’d like). In those instances, the choice for the business is, go bankrupt now or take a chance on new leadership with the understanding that the new leadership is going to want some assurance that if things don’t go well they aren’t the ones holding the bag for agreeing to try to come in and clean up the mess.
Personally, I’d rather have that as a signing bonus than a parachute, but the balance sheet (or the board) may not support that.
If someone is walking into a burning building to try to put the fire out, it’s natural for them to want some assurance that somebody has their back.
IDK what the situation with Colt’s leadership is, and if they are the team that ran it into the ground not the turn around team then yes, fire away. Just an alternative perspective to think about.
Post flames in response below. 😉
no flame, point well taken. I’d add that there are undoubtedly rank and file employees who did their best to keep the company afloat as well, it isn’t right to kneecap them.
This is exactly the mentality we need to get rid of, that the rank and file are merely replaceable drones who contribute nothing. That attitude drives people into unions, not out.
Worked for management at Hostess snack cakes
And that folks, is why I love Colt. Consistency.
Full disclosure: I’m a member of two unions and am contemplating joining a third.
So my unapologetic reaction to those golden parachutes is – F*** the GP’s. Give the money to the workers. Hell, the $2.3million split 500 ways is only $4,600, each. Chump change. And make Colt abide by the contract to the workers.
Did I mention I’m a member of two unions?
UAW is corrupt and must be disbanded! end of story.
But, executives shoulf get Zero bonuses and company should not get anything for those 9 losers that killed the company.
as for paying out till 2019…. NO! to bad. one year, no more. but colt should pay off benefits for existing employees based on their current years at the job like GM was going to do before BHO the traitor Fraked it all up causing more loses then if they lrt the bankruptcy go through.
GMs Bankruptcy had nothing to do with recession, it was planned for almost a decade to get ride of legacy Union cost and would have saved millions of jobs in all 2ndary markets. instead the unions have more power, cars are more made in china, and 2ndary markets lost over 50% of parts/used car market inventories. yes cash for clunkers was just part of the Traitor BS plan to help his union buddies and eliminate jobs that were not Union. try n find a used jeep part… now we have to buy cheap crappy parts from China.
yes workers should get their benefits but only 1 year of pay after closing. executives should get nothing… they messed Colt up.
future version must never have Unions ever Again. they only kill companies.
Most US unions have some issues, as does every large organization. But the suggestion that unions themselves somehow ruined that company, or this country, is just blatant propaganda from upside-down land. There’s some ridiculous things I’ve seen from union workers, there’s times I’d have liked to fire a bunch of them, but overall, unions are a good thing for most regular workers (government workers are a different story altogether).
The fact is that the American worker has been sold out by management, and ultimately in some way, by capitalism itself. The current program is an express train race to the bottom. There is simply no way for a first-world worker to compete economically against some third-worlder who works for 1/30 of what would be a living wage in the US.
Unions are responsible for the decent standard of living the average American enjoyed up to the last 10 years when our serious decline started. Take away the unions and you have the ‘economic miracle’ of places like Texas – some jobs, but they pay horrible wages with almost no benefits. Right to work states see wages depressed for everyone. Unions can be done well, and often are in the EU.
Hmmm, you obviously don’t live in the great state of Texas. Yes, we make a little less than workers in union states, BUT, we have jobs! We have a thriving economy! We have AFFORDABLE housing (with bricks and stone). We can afford the luxuries of life. The right to work is fundamental to life itself. To be forced to join a union in order to feed my family is very much like being a slave. In a right to work state, we can actually compete for better positions and pay without having to be hired before the other guy who sits on his duff all day planning his weekend and not being a productive worker. Unions have been a great asset in this country and could be again if they were restructured to actually help the worker without driving our jobs offshore!
A lot of snark their 16V. Union thuggery good HAR. good one.
Ct and UAW known fail. Mgmt?
Wages might not be quite as high for equivalent jobs, but cost of living is a lot lower. I had family move back to Texas, managed to keep the same salary, but moved into a bigger and cheaper house, lower mortgage and payments, and lower monthly expenses. Basically, the drop in cost of living worked out to a huge raise.
Even in areas like Austin and Dallas, which are comparatively high cost of living to the rest of Texas, it is still less that about anywhere in California, less than Seattle, New York….
Gary, I’ve had to spend a year and some change in Texas over the decades, it’s up there with NYC on the desirable to go to index. Only when I’m being paid very well will I suffer that place, it’s lousy weather, tons of illegals, ‘scenery’, ‘architecture’, not to mention HS football as religion. ABQ was nicer and cheaper. The average joke job being created in TX is right around $10.50 with few/no benes. I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed for $10 an hour 30 years ago when it was worth $22.18 of today’s devalued dollars. That you’re thinking this stinking pile is somehow “good” is a serious part of the problem. The average worker makes jack shite compared to what they should, and that you believe you’re living well for more than a moment is the saddest part.
neoiwa, Snark? Really? I was just going for factual, I wasn’t doing my usual obnoxious/patently-offensive-to-some. Oh well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…
Five- I’m from the MW, having lived pretty much everywhere west of the Mississippi. TX is expensive and people make jack squat. Cheaper than SF, LA, SEA, PDX? Sure, it’s the 3rd world compared to those cities. Texas is about as ‘cool’ as KC, or a really spread out Lincoln NE. I know some nice Texans, they hate the place too.
What a load of bullshyte and union greed; They ARE NOT concerned about the workers, the UNION just wants their CUT from the Union Dues for doing NOTHING to help the worker. Union FAT CAT bonus plan.
Presumably this “Golden Parachute” was also a contract between Colt and its employees, at least 9 of them.
The union workers should be paid until 2019? Why??? Just because they negotiated some BS contract that the company could never afford and was probably part of why they’re bankrupt now? Are the employees generating any profit? If the company is bankrupt now, their value is exactly zero, and that’s how much they should be paid. Same goes for the execs. I think they both had a (huge) hand in running Colt into the ground. Whatever money they have left should go back to their creditors. At least they can recover a few cents on the dollar.
And then reopen the company in Texas where they could actually make a profit!
Colt is just one more company Unions have had a hand in moving into bankruptcy.
Unions are the number one reason manufacturing jobs have moved offshore, and unions are the reason those same manufacturing jobs are unlikely to return. Let’s face it, someone putting bumpers on cars is not worth $100,000 a year in salary and benefits just because the union held the company hostage for the contract. Same thing is happening in Seattle with $15 minimum wage. Fast food companies are working to eliminate employees taking orders by making it self serve to order. Government wage regulation is no different than union contracts, both force business to look at lower cost options, and some just go out of business.
Full disclosure, I was a member of a union for two months when I was 19 years old. I found the entire arrangement disgusting and never again joined a union.
I don’t care about the management. I don’t care about unions. I care about the rule of law. Whoever is legally first in line for whatever assets remain should get the money.
I believe in the rule of law too but just who wrote the laws makes a big difference. Today’s law makers are more influenced by special interests than those of their constituents. Based on that I doubt it will be a fair process.
There’s no such thing as “the rule of law” — it’s a propaganda phrase to keep people from recognizing that all we have, all we have ever had, is rule by those who are tasked with enforcing the law. Some enforce it like it was a god to be sacrificed to, others enforce it like it was a tool got gaining power, others like it was a weapon for helping their friends and harming their enemies; a few use it the way it was meant to be, as an instrument for punishing harm and otherwise just keeping the peace.
The rule of law doesn’t always apply in our court system any more. See “Operation Fast and Furious”, “Auto Industry Bailout” and “Hillary Emails”. Seems like more and more the law is whatever the government wants it to be at any given time.
To be fair, or at least fairerer, this statement “and the very same people responsible for the terrible decisions that drove Colt to bankruptcy” isn’t entirely accurate. The company has made management changes in the last 5 years, and they did see the light about focusing on quality to the civilian consumer, but far too late. The people that are there now were many of the people promoted or brought on to change things. But the ship had taken on way too much water to stay afloat. Too little, and way too late.
Come on now, you can’t inject reality into the tribe of “managment evil” drum bangers we have here.
Posted my initial response before I saw this, but those were my thoughts as well, JWT.
I’m sure the union says screw the execs and give the workers the money. If I were the judge, I would agree with both. The company owes $350 million, ALL of them stop receiving any payments now, money applied to the company’s debt. No parachutes for anybody, get a job like the rest of us.
Is that 1911 Royal Blue?
Yes this please! That finish is gorgeous. What is it? Just a polished blueing?
if I recall correctly the original commercial colt model 1911 had a multiple stage buffing process using whale oil. The real beauty of it is that the color would shift like an oil slick depending on the angle you looked at it.
Welcome to the norm for the last 20 years, management does poorly they are rewarded, workers who try to produce a good US product are tossed to the street.
My guess is this is way to bust the union, then reform without it, lower wages for the workers who are rehired, same moronic bunch running it. Huge press release how they are bringing the brand back, employing US workers, blah blah blah.
I’m not so sure the employees were concentrating on a “quality product” based on the many quality issues Colt has faced over the last few years.
All in all, anytime you have an investment group take over a thriving company, it is for one thing: to cash in on the name of that company. That’s what they did, they ruined it, and are off to do something else. Same thing has happened to Remington Arms and many of the old outdoor magazines we read in the 1960s and 1970s.
In case no one has looked, the same thing is happening at the old mainstay Filson as we speak; they are stamping their name on everything from watches to Jeeps to cash in on the name while at the same time, importing new clothing lines. I have to wonder when Leupold and Savage will follow.
$2.5m in stay on incentive for nine people is hardly that golden of a parachute. Furthermore, if these 9 leave who is going to see the company through bankruptcy? Hiring a short time leadership crew is going to cost far more than $2.5m. Better yet, that $2.5m is less than 1% of the $350m in outstanding debt.
But that 2.5 million is part of the $350 million that they can’t pay back, right ? So how and why should they pay their execs that ? A company in bankruptcy should not pay anyone using borrowed money that they can’t pay back.
This. I have worked in restructuring before. It is necessary to provide incentive to current upper management to maintain as much value as possible in the current bankruptcy estate. These people know that they are out of a job when this wraps up. Without incentive they would jump ship so as not to have a break in employment. Crow all you want about how they don’t deserve it. Unfortunately they have vital knowledge of the company that is necessary for the wrap up of the company. The only other option is to bring in a team of outside consultants at 3x the cost that will require months of ramp up time to learn the ins and outs of the company.
Further, the execs and other professional fees are paid out prior to all other debtors with a claim. They are all paid out of liquidation proceeds from the sales of various assets. The debtors will each be paid a set percentage of their debt based either on a settlement agreement or their priority in the bankruptcy. Priority is a based on what kind of debt it is. Secured unsecured etc.
Anything is better than Remington/Freedom Group buying them out … ANYTHING.
I don’t know. At least Colt would get a decent .308 AR in their inventory.
I don’t get everyone arguing about money that is not there ? Colt is in debt and cannot pay it’s creditors. Where is the money for all of these bonuses or whatever supposed to be coming from ? Shut it down and send everyone home. Nobody gets anything except for the creditors who loaned the company money in good faith. Certainly the Execs that put the company into this position should not get anything. And if there is no work for the line workers why should they get paid ? Colt is not the government so they cannot print more money. Seems like their only alternative is to close the doors or sell the brand name to someone. Anything that comes from that should go to their creditors.
The rule was once, “creditors first” but after the fedgov temporarily nationalized GM, that went out the window.
Good time to buy a cheap colt AR.. Except that they are still $1,000.
I’do buy a couple new 20″ sporter comp. for $500 ea. In a heart beat Heheh
“the skills and tooling needed to make the (Python) revolver a reality once again are long gone.”
Every time I read this I am reminded of the lost technology from the First Empire of Man in “The Mote in Gods Eye”.
Everyone keeps saying that but I don’t believe it. It may not be profitable to bring back the skills and tooling, but it is possible. Pythonsmiths still exist and can still be consulted. We can make new tools again.
Or, failing that, the new owners of Colt could just make a pretty DA revolver with vent ribs, forged parts, simpler lockwork, and no stupid internal “safety” lock. Call it a “Boa” or some other serpent’s name.
I’m pretty Colt use the Boa moniker back in the seventy’s. Need the Detective Special and Agent back. Heck a police positive would be nice, light carry for street and woods.
Bill Ruger was right. Gun companies die when the executives only play golf. If they don’t enjoy trigger time, they their products as widget and there is no pride or ownership. The company is doomed.
I think the statement is more you’re never going to see a NIB $600 python again. The tools, knowledge, and skills all still exist but you’re probably looking at an $1800 custom shop item.
There havve been several generations of revolution in manufacturing since the days the Colt engineers drew the prints for the E-frame. It’s an entirely different world now.
I strongly suspect a Python is quite doable, and without going over $1200. The precision and repetitive abilities of current technology can render a lot of what made the E/I/D frames so handwork-intensive unnecessary.
That rebound lever- it’s pleasant to think of a one made on CNC machinery to inside a ten-thousandth of an inch, and being able to virtually drop in with barely a touch on the builder’s bench stone.
My engineer friends even think that the initial setup to make new D- and I-frame guns wouldn’t be devastating, given the state of the art these days.
But a third of a billion dollars of dead weight? It would take a fair load of optimism to collect the wreckage and take it somewhere to reassemble.
Actually Pietta, the Italian arms manufacturer who already makes Colt Single Action clones, has been getting ready to release a Colt Python clone they are calling the model 1955-P. It’s going to have the same parts that are interchangeable with the original Python and rumored to sell for under $800.
There are already a few websites (in Italian) that have been covering this news. Colt missed out an opportunity and someone else is going to make it happen. It may not be an original but it makes it possible to own a Python clone for a reasonable price.
Things built today will need a tiny amount of ‘hand fitting’ to make them exceptional – if done right. The gun industry has been trailing all other manufacturing for about 100 years.
There’s almost no human intervention in assembling an engine that will last 300K miles and do more cycles in an hour of highway driving than any gun has ever done.
+1 Glad to see comments from those with precision manufacturing insights.
Ha! I read those books, too!
A lazy company which relies on government contracts instead of innovation to employ entitled substandard union employees.
There are no good guys here.
Does colt really sell much of anything that people can’t get somewhere else tweaked by someone else better or at a better price point?
Gold Cups are still a good gun for the money.
I had a GC MKIV back in 1976. It wasn’t all that great even back then. Today?
Even an everyday 1991 is astoundingly good. I bought an ’08 that was operationally flawless. At that price point, no, no Royal Blue is going to happen, but the hard parts and guts were right.
Compared to its competition of the time, it was the best there was in that class.
Even today, the choice between a Range Officer and a 1991 is not easy.
If the management gets a year’s salary, the unions should get thier year too. no more. I think this is fair wether your in a union or otherwise.
Disclosure: I hate unions.
A contract is a contract, pay the workers what you guaranteed them.
Under contract law, all contracts are null and void at death. The company dies; so do the contracts.
Would you expect your children to be responsible for your debts when you die? Of course not! A corporation is a separate entity the same as you are.
Good point. I say give the cash to the creditors. Both the workers and executives, I’m sure, we’re getting paid on the ride to bankruptcy.
Well hell… this explains why they lost all their contracts. How the hell do you compete with FNH USA on price if they have market rate labor and you have labor union rates to pay?
Roy, You might want to look that up. FNH is a UAW Union shop…
In comes freedom group
Executives should only get bonus’ if they push a company into overwhelming success, not failure.
I know some of the owners of Colt… people blame the management team for some boneheaded decisions, but in reality, the union has strangled that company to death. When all of their competitors have moved to North Carolina, Texas, or Georgia, to embrace modern, non-union, lean manufacturing principles, Colt is stuck in 1970’s West Hartford, Connecticut. Its not even the higher Union wages that killed Colt. It’s the work rules. Any change in a production process, renegotiate the contract. Want to hire and fire based on performance rather than seniority, renegotiate the contract. Want to turn the lights on in their Kissimmee, Florida plant, renegotiate the contract. Colt manages to lose money on every $56,000 Bulldog Gatling Gun they sell!
Want to know why Colt doesn’t manufacture the Python any more? Answer, they can’t do it profitably with their union in West Hartford.
The best thing that could happen to the Colt Brand? The creditors should wipe out the equity holders, close down the Colt plant, fire all the workers, move the machinery to a new facility in a R-T-W state, and open New Colt. If they keep the West Hartford plant and the unionized workers, the post-restructuring Colt will just hemorrhage cash like the old one.
“If they keep the West Hartford plant and the unionized workers, the post-restructuring Colt will just hemorrhage cash like the old one.”
HAHAHAHAHAHA, as if there was even a consideration that they would re-open anything in this state. Every business that can move, is either planning it or already on the way out the door. RTW laws have their problems, not the least of which is that they open the door to discriminatory practices, for which there is no practical recourse. However they are a response to unions that are out of control. It’s not that they are too big or too powerful, just that they are not negotiating in good faith, and in CT they can go crying to the Democrat-controlled government who will start dancing because they can’t afford to lose the votes. On the other side, the businesses have figured out that they can browbeat the legislature into handing them big piles of money by threatening to leave. It’s all just a mess because nobody in the legislature or the governor’s office has the backbone to go back to the drawing board and rebuild our regulatory structure from scratch, which is the only thing that can save the state at this point.
Competition for skilled workers in R-T-W states is HIGH enough to keep the crooked cheating stuff out. Screw the employee and they go find another job at a new company that just moved into town.
Look at the Auto companies in R-T-W states; they are ALL getting paid good wages and benefits while producing HIGH quality autos, UNLIKE Detroit and the UAW.
You just hit the nail on the head! But union workers deserve those jobs………….
Yes, the union workers are convinced they deserve those jobs. But if that’s the case, then we ‘deserve’ a $5K Python. Oh what’s that? Nobody’s going pay that much? You don’t say! Well then what’s better, union workers: being employed at $10/hour (for example), or unemployed at $20 (or whatever their fraudulent contract demands)? Which is exactly what the Colt union has done to itself, and what other unions are doing across the country. They’re destroying the very businesses that hire and pay them.
Because $10 per is equivalent to $5 per back in the 80s? Money you can barely survive on, you know, like working at Taco Bell….
You want a skilled craftsman for the price of a burrito roller?
Burrito rollers get $15 / hour in LA . SF is $12.25, but believe they have mandatory minimum benefits that nets to about the same or higher.
16V, I don’t know what they make, I was just giving an example (hence the words “FOR EXAMPLE” in my post). As in, you can either be employed at wage X or unemployed at Y, where Y>X. I see this is too difficult for socialists to understand.
Mr Pierogie, So you can “work” for about $100 US per month (high regional Chinese minimum) or you can be unemployed for a livable wage. Brilliant.
How do you not comprehend that there is no way anyone in the 1st world can compete with people who will work all month for what we spend on a cheap dinner for two?
I’m a capitalist. But like Henry Ford, I know that when the masses don’t have money to spend, the economy disappears. I know that when we send a huge percentage of GDP to some desert-dwelling primitives for petrochemicals we shouldn’t need, it’s not good for us. I know that when we export the manufacturing sector to the 3rd world to raise margins for a minute, it’s not good for us.
Life is a zero-sum game. You figure out how to keep it, or someone will take it from you. Sadly, we’ve handed it to them.
Manufacturing jobs are disappearing everywhere. Wages in China have gotten high enough that jobs are leaving or being replaced by robots. To a large extent, that’s thanks to US corporations which paid more than the going rate and thus pulled wages up.
When that trend hits the few places to which manufacturing jobs are currently flowing, the world is going to change seriously: manufacturing jobs will be a thing of the past everywhere — and unions will have had nothing to do with it. And it’s coming sooner rather than later, as robots get better and last longer, and as robots become the “workers” building other robots.
BTW, that isn’t just in manufacturing; robots now mow lawns, clean pools, trim hedges, vacuum carpets, mop and wax floors, manage inventory, and more.
“union workers deserve those benefits???
BULLSHYTE; if they are NOT manufacturing something they deserve no wages. That’s as stupid as the auto companies that were paying employees for taking two or three months off AT FULL PAY.
You only have answered half the equation. The adversarial relationship between management and union workers is the problem. I have lived in Germany, and saw how unions and management can work together to be able to provide decent wages for all employees and continue to turn out profitable products. Union-management relations in the U.S. are “adversarial,” whereas in Germany they’re “collaborative.”
Look at the German automobile industry. Germany paid their autoworkers about $67 an hour (including wages and benefits). But the United States paid its average worker only $33 an hour (also including wages and benefits). On top of that, German car manufacturers were highly profitable, despite the comparatively large paychecks of their workers. BMW earned a before-tax profit of 3.8 billion euros, and Mercedes-Benz hauled in profits of 4.6 billion euros.
Germans have completely democratized the auto plant. Nearly every single autoworker in the country is a member of the union. A high union membership rate means autoworkers hold a lot of sway. Unions rarely go on strike in Germany because there is an elaborate system of conflict resolution that regularly is used to come to the sort of compromise that is acceptable to all parties. CEOs and union workers aren’t under attack and there aren’t any “right to work for less” zones in Germany to which car manufacturers can flee so they can ignore the voice of organized labor.
But, the greatest reason for the non-adversarial relationship is that there is a constitutional amendment in Germany that forces corporate executives to work with labor unions. The Workers Constitution Act requires every factory to set up a workers council that gives union leadership a voice in every decision-making process. That is the democratization of capitalism, expanding the decision-making process to not just the few managers but rather all of their employees.
So, keep touting the policies that promote the race to the bottom. Keep touting “right to work” and the steady decline of american wages and the belief that management should be able to do whatever they like, and then have themselves protected from the natural outcomes of their poor decision making. We will certainly push ourselves into the status of the third world.
Before the government nationalized GM they were paying $75/hr. per UAW worker including benefits. Toyota was paying $48/hr. and doing just fine.
I suspect that the real difference between the US and Germany is that the German union leaders are aware that if they drive their companies out of business that they’ll be out of a job too. US union leaders still haven’t figured that out.
The problem with GM was, and still is, corporate culture and management, not some UAW flunkie. For every one lineworker getting paid 50% too much, there’s 4 overhead staff whose only job is to compile and send out a report that no one has read in 40 years, because it’s what they have always done.
It still hasn’t sunk into a lot of management in the US that just because they make things in American doesn’t mean the world is going to buy it. The union arrogance in such industries grew from that same attitude that a US company can’t possibly fail, just because it’s a US company. Given that reality still hasn’t sunk in with management, it will take another generation for unions leaders to figure it out.
But in industries where that entitlement attitude never even existed, unions are still useful and necessary — and some are learning that working together with management is the way to go. If we can kill the arrogant unions and nurture the smart ones, we can have a better future. And actually, killing the arrogant ones is being helped along by automation, which is replacing the high-paid union jobs steadily.
Wish it were as simple as “do as Germans do.” Germany has free university education and a superb industrial education program for those weeded out from pursuing university degrees. Seem to recall that students are categorized in middle school as to university potential. Too complex to cover here, but what works in Germany isn’t a template for success in the US anymore than China or Japan. Plenty of articles (Harvard Business Review, Fortune, etc.) on this topic.
Only in America are corporate leaders rewarded for failing at their jobs.
Well, if we’re going to insist on a downward spiral towards Chinese-level wages, (erm… “competitive labor costs” I mean) then we need to implement Chinese style management as well where shameful failures are taken out and executed.
When the average working guy can no longer afford a TV, at least there will be something to watch in the public square.
I donot know the workers or the bosses, nut I do remember a America motorcycle company that was run into the ground by management, I not sure of how, but the workers took over the company, and now an America icon is still on the road—————————–management is the one ruining the company, why should they benefit—– seem too much of this in the past decade in the banking industry———-use them for target practice
The new owners will most likely hire back at least some of the workers.
Why? Assuming there will be a new owner — which is a major assumption — why would it remain in Connecticut and have to deal with the UAW? Better to just buy the assets out of bankruptcy and relo everything to a right-to-work state. It’s understood that some of Colt’s machinery is so old that it can’t be moved, so sell it for scrap. The most valuable assets that Colt has are the name, logo, drawings and maybe some of the tooling. The workers and Hartford location aren’t assets — they’re liabilities. Sad but true.
How’d that work out for Marlin? Moving from Hartford CT to NY and KY resulted in some truly awful product quality. The folks with real gunmaking talent did not move, resulting in a workforce with no skills in lever-action guns and nobody to train them.
JSJ, You’re being too generous. When you pay crap, you get crap. Freedom group got exactly what they bargained for – garbage.
From supermarket cashiers to tool&die makers, there is a price to be paid for having someone be competent and dedicated to doing their job ‘right’.
Screw the UAW, look what they did to Detroit.. The execs deserve severance pay, union thugs do not.
All unions should be banned. People that try to unionize or go on strike should go to prison. Unions serve no good purpose anymore, job killing lazy commie scum can go to hell.
Until they get arrogant and grasping, unions are as good for a economy as are corporations. Take, for instance, Walmart: at present, with its one million employees who get government benefits at a rate of better than $500 per employee per month. That’s a half billion dollars a month being sucked from the rest of us, without including the bloated salaries of government bureaucrats who “manage” the “cases” of all those workers. That’s six billion plus dollars per year we as a nation shouldn’t have to spend.
If Walmart employees had a union, they’d be getting enough their government benefits would drop to zero. In fact, they’d be getting enough they’d be actually paying income tax, thus helping finance the government rather than leeching off it. The price of an item at Walmart would rise less than a dime, while Walmart would sell a bit more stuff since their employees would be able to buy more stuff.
Unions are like corporations; they’re both instances of people banding together for their own benefit. When they pursue that benefit as citizens, members of “we, the people”, everyone benefits — but when they pursue that benefit with no regard to others, both are equally evil.
Have you ever shopped at Walmart? If their employees had skills they’d make enough to get off the government dole. It’s like a contest to see how much time they can take scanning your 6 items. If not for Walmart these peoples’ incomes would be zero.
I’ve shopped at three different Walmarts, and for one of them that’s true of a few checkers. At the others, the only time checkout has been slow has been when there are trainees. At the one I most often go to, they hire more than a few teens, because when someone asks for help, and the employee has to go check on an item somewhere else in the store, they are expected to RUN.
Doesn’t matter. Why should taxpayers be subsidizing Walmart employees’ salaries with gov’t benefits?
Walmart CUSTOMERS should be paying Walmart employees.
I’d be all FOR a “living minimum wage” IF we would cut out food stamps, EITC, WIC, etc. The way it is currently, EVERY poor person gets a basketful of taxpayer-funded welfare-type programs to make up for the fact that wages at the low-skill end of the economic ladder don’t pay enough to live on.
Yep: by paying low wages, corporations encourage big government. By demanding decent wages, unions fight big government.
Weird, but true. Though really it makes sense: as Henry Ford recognized, when you take care of your workers, the whole country runs better. If all capitalists understood capitalism the way he did, we wouldn’t need unions any longer!
I’m all for getting people off welfare, but you’re missing the point. Who hires fifty-something stay at home moms who haven’t had a job in 30 years? Walmart does. If the government forces Walmart to pay them $15/hr. instead of $8 then Walmart doesn’t hire them anymore. At $15/hr. they are unemployable. Having them suck up $500 of our tax money every month is better than having them suck up $2000. And Walmart is actually pretty good at letting unskilled workers gain skills and move up within the company.
Unions are as good for the economy as corporations? What are you smoking? Unions are a cancer. They’re the reason why so many jobs moved off shore. They negotiate salaries based on how many members they have and how much damage they could cause to a company’s bottom line by work stoppage. They don’t negotiate based on each worker’s skill set and value to the company. They demand pay and benefits which are unreasonable and unsustainable. This, in turn, leads to unemployment, because many starting salaries have become so unjustifiably high that inexperienced workers who could have been employed at, say $8/h based on how much value they bring, are now unemployable because the union wants $15 minimum, for example. This artificial high wage and exorbitant benefit package leads to a higher price of the end product, which becomes too expensive for the average consumer. And the higher the price, the lower the demand. Unionized businesses are committing economic suicide. Some at a slower rate, some faster.
You’ve bought the propaganda. Unions are responsible for most of the high productivity rate of the American worker. Yes, some got overbearing and arrogant; that happens in any large human institution.
I began to understand that there are unions, and then there are unions, when I visited Flint, Michigan and ran into the attitude that union members DESERVED a swimming pool, a tennis court, a boat, several cars, etc. — and those union members would have nothing to do with the members of a union who were fighting to actually get lunch and work break laws enforced in their workplaces because employers regularly fired people who actually believed that when the law said they have to be given a lunch break it meant they were to be given a lunch break, as well as to get employers to follow other laws.
You sure have a sense of humor. Unions = high productivity? Hahahaha….thanks for the laugh. Is that why GM is at the risk of going bankrupt at least once a decade? I guess nobody wants those low-priced high quality vehicles they could be driving instead of their 8 year old beaters?
Go find any unionized business. Ask them to hire you, but say that you don’t want to join the union. See how fast they’ll be chasing you out. The idea of quality labor at a lower price is their kryptonite and they’ll fight it to the death.
If any business is abusive or does not honor its legal requirements, then don’t work there. Nobody is forcing you. An employer will not stay in business long with that sort of practice. People will go work for a competing business, which will give them their lunch break and better compensation in order to keep them happy. Pretty soon nobody will want to work for the abusive guy. That’s how businesses compete. But you want to force them to spend time and money on something that takes care of itself in a free market.
I worked at a unionized business without joining the union — the employer knew a slick way around the law. And the only reason a lot of employers won’t hire you is the law.
Saying workers who don’t like the job conditions should just get a different job shows total ignorance of the real world. If jobs were that easy to find, the government bureaucrats pushing food stamps would be unemployed, because wages would be high enough no one would need them.
If good working conditions came naturally in a free market, there never would have been unions.
Lol. If you think GM’s troubles are the result of unions, you know nothing of GM management. Completely insulated from reality, most of these clowns have never driven a regular production GM product and have no clue what the market wants, nor in their complete arrogance would they care. That old “what’s good for GM is good for the country” mentality has never left the ivory towers, not even when imports started eating their lunch.
It’s a completely bizarre culture that would not be tolerated in any other successful industry. GM has survived in spite of management, not thanks to it.
“If any business is abusive or does not honor its legal requirements, then don’t work there. ”
If you have a skill that’s in demand, that’s SOP. You can call your own shots, name your own price. Problem is not everyone gets to be an astronaut and there isn’t enough demand if they all could.
The guy that unloads trucks for a living can be easily replaced, can’t negotiate squat and there is no incentive for competing employers to treat him any better. He’s completely powerless without a union.
Then there’s the safety issue…I watched a non-unionized plant here gas it’s own workers with a Chlorine leak (deferred maintenance), fire them when they could not work and fight their lawsuits for compensation. While union plants have their issues, safety is not regularly one of them. But there’s OSHA you say? yeah, lol. You’re on your own.
OMG . . . OSHA
I worked at an electronics place assembling security devices, mostly camouflaged camera units. Someone who got fired decided to “get back” at the owner by calling an anonymous tip to OSHA, so we got a visit from an “assessment team”.
Almost two weeks later, their recommendations got implemented: we got stripes on the work floor showing where parts carts could roll, lines around work areas designating the proper distance from work benches for stools, signs forbidding snacks on the floor, and a requirement to wear goggles when using the soldering machine (which everyone already did because it was smart).
But not a thing was done to change the way untrained people were allowed to use drill presses and other machinery, or to improve the ventilation around the soldering machine or work benches where soldering was done, or other things that actually had to do with the real safety issues there! OSHA, in other words, was a pain in the ass good at making evidence that they were “doing something” but shit at their actual jobs.
It was their required evaluation reports that led to things actually getting done. Not that we told OSHA anything; instead, those of us who had been seeing to safety on the floor as best we could presented our list to management of what OSHA really should have paid attention to, and our action plan for dealing with it — one aspect of which was to wait ninety days to implement any of it, because any improvements in those ninety days would have been credited to OSHA.
Now, the interesting thing is that the way we went about addressing the safety issues is the way unions work in Germany and other places: they work with management as a team, not as adversaries. The U.S. antagonistic relationship between companies and unions arises from the way companies treated unions at first, turning workers into enemies instead of partners. And today’s so-called libertarian movement embraced by much of the GOP continues that attitude, regarding workers as expendable units to be milked for maximum profit even if it means sucking money from the taxpayers to get there.
Why do execs deserve severance pay?! That’s like saying the captain who runs a ship aground deserves severance, but the sailors who drown don’t!
The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. That seems to be the law of the land. I doubt it will ever change.
Probably that’s why the Old Testament had a jubilee year, when debts were cancelled, all property reverted to its family or tribe, and slaves went free. At least, I presume God is a good enough economist to know any human system needs a reset on a fairly regular basis.
If anything in this country needs a reset, it’s social security. I don’t see that happening. The rich are only paying a small percentage of their earnings, and their not going to give that up.
When all the poor people are killed off, who the hell is going to do the work!
Robots, of course.
The more important economic question is who will fill the role of customers?
“the skills and tooling needed to make the revolver a reality once again are long gone”
This is a ridiculously misleading and ignorant statement. The only reason a company would need a workforce of “skilled craftsmen” for the fit and finish is if their machines mill out the parts with shitty tolerances and clearances. If that’s the case, then you need people to hand fit everything and that increases the cost. This can be alleviated by using quality machining equipment.
Example is with Dakota Arms. It used to take a few days to get one rifle machined and hand fitted, but with updates to their machining capabilities, this process dropped to only a few hours per rifle.
As for tooling, just have someone program the damn CNC machine properly. Hell, you could even laser scan every part on one of the revolvers and input that information into your CNC. Long Rifles Inc. utilizes a laser scan with some of their builds (e.g. scanning receivers for a perfect stock inlet) and they make some of the best rifles on the planet!
The Snake series of revolvers could easily be made again and without any of the old workers. The only time real craftsmen are needed is for stock work and engraving.
+1: Six Sigma. Cost of Quality savings almost always justify the kinds of manufacturing improvements usmc cites. German and Japanese manufacturing prowess due to post-WWII training in US-developed methods. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming
Sadly very few US companies employed these techniques until much of our precision manufacturing had disappeared.
Here, here! Been saying this for decades. We can assemble an entire engine out of parts that are never modified and it will last well over 100K miles when every 100 miles it does more cycles than almost any firearm does before a full rebuild. In a few days, it does more cycles than any ever have.
This is an example of how the “free markets” aren’t exactly free markets as postulated in “efficient market theory”. In an efficient market, the management team that sucked the blood out of a company and then left behind a dry husk would be economically punished. All too often, these types are rewarded for being parasitical, racking up debt, making expensive and/or uncompetetive products, and killing off the host (and its workers). There is nothing efficient about that.
The history of Colt shows that management was disfunctional, racked up debt and pocketed it instead of investing in the company, and are fully responsible for crashing Colt. But, like many of the banksters who got bailed out by Tim Geitner and your tax money, these guys often get away with a golden parachute.
What gone kill Colt firearms beside fact bleeding money faster Wall Street Stock Broker right now. Is the fact they seem have no R&D department speak of. They have come up with any new firearms of there own design sent early 1990. Ones they did back than flop like Colt Double Eagle Colt 2000 all-american. Funny thing was only handgun there did not flop back than was Colt Anaconda 44 magnum witch look like Colt Python on steroids but made from using Colt King Cobra action because cheaper stronger less complicated than Colt Python action. Now all Colt firearms make same firearms ever one else makes like 1911 they can not compete on that mark on low end 1911 market there lot cheaper 1911 than ever been on market work on high end 1911 market there better 1911 on market what Colt makes for price point Colt demands for there brand. Than Ar 15 Market same story as with 1911 market. Sorry Colt make mustang 380 in polymer plastic call brand new game changer was weak from word go special when market full lower price 380 that work well in polymer plastic cost less. Colt got beat at your own game when ever body made there own version of your mustang 380 offer ever style version Colt to lazy make in real game changer. So unless Colt Firearms can find way make some thing really special different than what it making right now there doom go right where original Winchester firearms went right out business. Yes I know Winchester firearms is back but all most new Winchester firearms are made these day in other country like Japan.
I see both the points raised about keeping (some) management on to ease the company out, and also the contracts with union members. But four (4) years worth of salary ? Really ? Where can I get that kind of deal, anywhere ?
On the gun side of this discussion, the recent, in the past couple of years, 1911s, both Series 70 and Series 80 type guns, are some of the best Colt has ever made. Not my words – the words of many custom pistol smiths who build on them. All of my 1911 platform guns have the pony on them. If it’s not a Colt, it’s just a copy.
Wouldn’t mind seeing the Detective Specials/Police Positives/Pythons come back, but they are an expensive, turn-of-the-century design. Almost no one knows how to work on them now.
Sad that iconic Colt brand has failed but modern Colt failed the consumer, especially when it comes to revolvers. But screw em, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, even Taurus makes mighty fine revolvers. I have two of the old Colts handguns. An 80’s vintage Government 1911.380 pistol and a late 70″s Colt Detective .38 spl. But also Armscor Rock Island .38 special 206 Detective clone, not as pretty as Colt but better shooting 6 round
handgun at under $400.00. Typhoon did a number on their plant in the Philippines so everything is on back order. But giving how popular their product is, likely to be up by now
This is nothing more than simply “The rule of law.” Which every dimwit worth neither his salt nor anything else, has been told to regurgitate as some sort of unassailable good. Or god. Never bothering to realize “The rule of law”, unless the number, complexity and reach of law/laws are strictly checked and limited, mean nothing more than the rule of lawyers. And, in this case, those who pay the lawyers.
Blah blah woof woof(Jimi Hendrix)…are there any colts at Walmart for fire-sale $? All they have is a name-and the Python is never coming back…
Why the hell are their UAW members working in a firearms factory? Both UAW and Colt executives stink to high hell. Colt has a storied history, but the modern Colt company is an empty shell that peddles overpriced schlock of inferior quality.
Colt will not be missed.
1) Staying in CT. They had plenty of chances to move but where held back by the unions or taking stupid short term deals from local governments that would later screw them.
2) Cozzy up to various Democrat CT Government Bodies hoping they would leave them alone only to be screwed during Union negotiations
3) Stop selling a civilian line including their revolvers; depending too much on military sales
4) Not understanding the changing landscape and doing too little to late.
At this point, they should die and be a lesson in history of what not to do
Good riddance. Colt should be ashamed of themselves. What they are doing casts doubt upon American businesses, especially those in the firearms industry. As such, they are acting very un-American, and I am not at all sad to see them die out. May another American firearms industry with integrity pick up their ruins and benefit from their stupidity.
I don’t care if colt go’s out of business their guns quality has sucked for a some time while their prices keep going out of sight! Never could afford one now and don’t want one ever. All this will do is drive up the already over priced guns even higher! all I can say is good by!
“Fans of the legendary Python shouldn’t hold their breath; the skills and tooling needed to make the revolver a reality once again are long gone”
I call BS on this. Colt management might not know their butts from a hole in the ground, but the skills and machinery necessary to build world class revolvers are alive and well in America. Whoever buys Colt would/should have the resources to acquire them.
I don’t remember a time when Cold made something that wasn’t completely suck and massively overpriced. Their prices were so high that even if it were good, it still wouldn’t have been worth it. They got away with that for my entire adult life. I remember hearing guys bragging about their “Real, honest-to-God Colt! Wow Look at it!” And? I have a Sub-$600 DelTon that’s better in every way… Where’s my Golden Parachute?