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  1. #21
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    GeneH,

    I don't know what trap you think you have laid for me, but I did work for them for about 15 1/2 years before I became disabled.

    Fortunate, for me, you would consider it a disgrace, that I got 15 in, and old enough TO retire. Had I become disabled, denied for disability, with 14 yrs, 364 days, my pension would not cover the cost of hospitalization.

    I was in fact denied for disability because I worked for 10 months with a severe back injury, enough so that my boss did not tell me to go lift as much as them young bulls do. Company DR told me to get X-ray and MRI on my own, get out of here.

    Worked the next 10 months, finally had to quit, walked as though I had Tourete's Syndrome.

    Last 4 years have not been all that happy a time.

    Were it not for SSDI, I would be one of them on welfare. Else I would have been drawing on my own 401, and today would be getting one hell of a lot less from it than when I retired. Same difference, really.

    Mill hunkies are not all rich, I don't care what you think of the Union worker. I worked my ass off, all the OT they would give me till my last graduated college. Divorced, I no longer had to work all them hours. Had I, I would have had a bigger 401 and maybe more in the bank to live on in this financial conundrom.

    Richer people than you or I are hurting more than you or I. I don't have a 400 K mortgage, nor do you.

    I don't have half a mill in shop and machines without work to keep my people working to make payroll for them and to keep the payments going, or even the power to the shop.

    People here are hurting, some have to decide whether they can afford to buy the material TO make parts for their paying customers, when those paying customers have to ask for terms for payment of 30 days or more.

    When YOUR payments are due, it is hard to ask YOUR creditors to hold off till you can see if you can get YOUR debtors to pay.

    Did I mention that we are in for a world of hurtin'? We are! It will get worse before it gets better.

    Johnoder,

    Iron IS good. Iron made this country and all the other ones. Some of the most beautiful structures in the world have been made of iron. Eiffel Tower, Tionesta Bridge, blown over for lack of maintenance.

    "Puddlers" got some "wrought iron" from the melt, almost impervious to the elements. High in silicon, I think, and malleable. Fitments for ships of the line, rather than cast iron cleats and the like.

    Machinery would not have been where it was today without IRON. And, today, many here still think that the mass and weight of iron makes for a better machine than a bunch of weldments.

    Our newest pickle line is welded I and H beams, lots of gussets. Lots of parts broke, while I was there.

    I was proud of the mill for the time I worked there, near 70 years old and still economical to run, profit to be made, people to employ.

    Course I was proud of the Westinghouse, 100 years old 2 years before they shut the doors.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    GeneH,

    I don't know what trap you think you have laid for me, but I did work for them for about 15 1/2 years before I became disabled.

    Fortunate, for me, you would consider it a disgrace, that I got 15 in, and old enough TO retire. Had I become disabled, denied for disability, with 14 yrs, 364 days, my pension would not cover the cost of hospitalization.

    I was in fact denied for disability because I worked for 10 months with a severe back injury, enough so that my boss did not tell me to go lift as much as them young bulls do. Company DR told me to get X-ray and MRI on my own, get out of here.

    Worked the next 10 months, finally had to quit, walked as though I had Tourete's Syndrome.

    Last 4 years have not been all that happy a time.

    Were it not for SSDI, I would be one of them on welfare. Else I would have been drawing on my own 401, and today would be getting one hell of a lot less from it than when I retired. Same difference, really.

    Mill hunkies are not all rich, I don't care what you think of the Union worker. I worked my ass off, all the OT they would give me till my last graduated college. Divorced, I no longer had to work all them hours. Had I, I would have had a bigger 401 and maybe more in the bank to live on in this financial conundrom.

    Richer people than you or I are hurting more than you or I. I don't have a 400 K mortgage, nor do you.

    I don't have half a mill in shop and machines without work to keep my people working to make payroll for them and to keep the payments going, or even the power to the shop.

    People here are hurting, some have to decide whether they can afford to buy the material TO make parts for their paying customers, when those paying customers have to ask for terms for payment of 30 days or more.

    When YOUR payments are due, it is hard to ask YOUR creditors to hold off till you can see if you can get YOUR debtors to pay.

    Did I mention that we are in for a world of hurtin'? We are! It will get worse before it gets better.

    Paranoia will destroy ya, George. You said "We" on several occasions and that made me curious. I almost wondered if you were just taking "ownership" of ET because you lived within fifty miles of it.

    I don't have an issue with disability, I buy insurance for that myself. I do have a gigantic problem with the "You owe me!" attitude of Union workers. Every one of you guys sneered at me over the years with your "You're not in a Union!" mindset. Then I heard, over and over again, how "They" had money and "they" were "rich' and "they" would make everyone work for peanuts if it wasn't for the Union. Spent too much time with small business owners to buy that crap, though it is true sometimes.

    When I was in a Union, the IBEW, they shafted me out of a job because the CWA said I was a "scab with papers". Never forgot that, nor the astonishment of pro-Union types who said, "A Union would NEVER do that to a working person!".

    My cynicism has a fair basis. Me and twenty other guys were sent down the road because of a piss contest between two Unions. Still, my grandpa was a member of Ironworkers Local 3. So maybe they weren't all bad.

    Since that time I've survived two Organization attempts. One included some clown telling me he was going "Do an Anchor". You remember what happened down in Connellsville, don't you? Some dude wigged out and wasted a few bosses because they were hassling him about him seeing his wife on the line and suspended him? He came back with a piece and wasted several of them. I'm good friends with an eyewitness, who watched the dude waste himself.

    When that jerkoff told me he was "coming up to do an Anchor" I started bringing a piece to work. Which was against the rules but being wasted without being able to shoot back is against my rules.

    I look at "Card ChecK" with a sense of impending Horror. I won't even get a chance to make up my mind about a Union. Instead they'll just gull a few dumb kids with tales of wealth and power and we'll be stuck with 'em. If I had any doubts about Unions Card Check is dismissing them. Unions are big business and are in it for themselves.

    As far as "hurtin'". Sure, I'm feeling it already. What are we gonna do about it? It's 1978 all over again, especially once the "messiah" starts his magic.

    I wait for 2010, George. Payback time.

    Gene

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    GeneH,

    I really don't understand you. What IS your big snit about Union? ONCE upon a time you were a greenhorn in a twit between 2 Unions that claimed priority?

    I'd really like to know where in the hell you got shitcanned over a Union tussle? You say IBEW in a CWA plant, what were you doing in the CWA plant? Their work, or strictly electrical? Were you and your temps taking work from the Union workers?

    Long ago, we had E. Pgh with the IUE and Youngwood with the IBEW, who went on strike and came to picket our plant. Union had to go and explain that the IUE had settled, they couldn't picket here, as there were no IBEW workers in the plant.

    Seriously, you take work from me, I ain't gonna like you all that much. My mill was USWA and the Management was always trying to get Century to come in and do my job. Cheaper, somehow to pay outsiders to do the job.

    Fuck up the job and tell management they have to call people in to give them instruction, and they don't come in. Union people turn down the OT, come in on their regular turn, fix the fuckup, get the crane or whatever going, and they go off and lick their wounds till the next time. Got their money, though.

    MOST of these companies are either started by former bosses, or manned by retirees, NOT in the know of HOW to do the job, just those who have bossed those jobs..

    It has been at least 30 years since I have had a boss who has had experience in the field he was bossing. I have had bosses tell me I was a better machinist than they could ever be, and I have told you I never have called myself a machinist. Machine Operator, for some time, ONE type of machine, VTLs.

    Machine Repairman for many years, my bosses there were even less knowledgeable than in my machining time. All they knew was that I came back to the shop and sat till the next breakdown, and the other crew was still out there busting their chops fixing something, so I should get assigned more jobs.

    Boss told me that. "You come back to the shop and they're still working."

    Hokay, I'll make sure that I don't fix that machine till the end of the shift. Let them go on any other breakdowns. NO! I'll work on the machine all night and not get it fixed and let daylight turn finish it up. No night turn crew, so 8 MORE hours of no production

    This is not Union against Management. This is Management against Worker. I could analyze and repair a machine while the other crew, since we combined the Repair and Millwright trades, and the Senior person ran the operation (I was, and I was the Repairman, and my aide was a Millwright, a "heavy lifter".)

    Other crew was two former Millwrights, not the least idea why a machine would not do what it was supposed to do.

    Boss decided I should go fix machines and not have to go fix their fuckups. Wait my turn for the next job. Blowing my own horn, Bosses would call and ask that George come fix their machine.

    I laughed the first time I heard that on my boss' answering machine, he turned red. He was a prick. Probably dead, now, so will say no more. Well, will say that he was so much a know it all that once you explained something to him, he would preach it back at you, as though he just discovered it.

    Had some good bosses, and one extra good boss, last name UTT, young enough to not be indoctrinated into the Corporate mantra.Went to Fort Payne, Alabama. Hog country, for hunters. Deer. Turkey. Whatever. Nah. You gotta go kiss ass with the landowners here. Play golf. All that.

    He quit the Company. Like to know where he is today.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    GeneH,

    I really don't understand you. What IS your big snit about Union? ONCE upon a time you were a greenhorn in a twit between 2 Unions that claimed priority?

    I'd really like to know where in the hell you got shitcanned over a Union tussle? You say IBEW in a CWA plant, what were you doing in the CWA plant? Their work, or strictly electrical? Were you and your temps taking work from the Union workers?

    George
    We were doing onsite work, a combined operation, in a business. A big project. The CWA did part of it, we did the rest. My group was there to "help out" apparently as the project went along. I never thought it through, to figure that once the Project was over I would be out the door.
    .

    Why we were hired as "temps" is beyond me. I was placed there by my school and told it was a "job". Nobody told me I was a temp, I wouldn't have bothered to take the damn job if that was the case.

    When I got to the site I was told, "We're gonna take out two hours a month for dues". I figured, "What the hell, I'm working". Never figured I was in a Union but I started to get letters from the IBEW, congratulating me. They sent me a calendar and some "updates" and stuff.

    So I thought, "Okay, I'm in a Union. Once this gig is over they'll find me another job.". I figured that my Dues bought me something besides the right to show up, work and get paid every other week. I figured I was part of the group, a Union man.

    One day we were told that the CWA was "unhappy" and were considering a strike. I remember talking to a friend of mine, who was a former IBEW member. He advised me to tell the pickets, "My Union doesn't recognize your strike" and that they'd be cool with it.

    A week or so later I got told by the foreman, "You gotta go. Sorry". Twenty other guys got their walking papers too. Later on, from a friend who'd been hired earlier than me and was still there, I was told the truth - the CWA considered us "Scabs with Papers" and leaned on the IBEW to let us go.

    Only later did it dawn on me that I was a temp and got shafted - got to pay dues and then be flushed over a piss contest between two Unions. For about six months I got shit in the mail from them but finally they quit mailing me. You'd think that they'd have some brains and keep in touch, maybe offer me work, make those dues work. Nope.

    No wonder Unions are losing membership. They treat people like shit and don't even have the courtesy to keep in touch, maybe reach out to members, even temp members. I bet that the IBEW doesn't even remember me now. Whatever.

    I don't understand why a skilled worker like yourself would be considered for replacement by a Temp. That's pretty dumb. You sound like some of the metallurgists I've worked with in the past. You know a good bit about steel. Never said that businesses made consistently intelligent decisions.

    Gene

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    GeneH,

    They weren't so much temps, per se, as contractors hired on a job basis, cost plus, or flat fee for their labor.

    First, you have to understand that all Maintenance people are considered an expense. Companies hate to have to have them. They produce nothing that can be shipped out the door and billed for. We were considered a necessary evil that they dearly wanted to do away with.

    Century, as above, would be called in to change a set of wheels. Our wheels. Our tools. Lots of companies don't have the tools to do the work. They don't have the expertise. It's no big deal, once you learn how to get 1500 pounds of wheel, axle, bearing boxes positioned and rolled into place. Getting them out is even hairier, slack chains once they get rolling, and you don't have a good man on the mobile crane, you lose that load down 40 feet and hope nobody is close enough to get hurt.

    Some boxes are bolted on, some are slipped on. Lost one one time, bad hand in the crane (my people called it a "cherry picker", though I agree with Don that it is a crane and the "man lift" is actually a cherry picker.) and the chains slacked enough to near lose the whole thing. One bearing box, 300 pounds or so, crashed through the roof of an office trailer. Nobody in it, thankfully.Innyhoo, that would take us 4 hours to change two wheel assemblies.

    4 Millwrights and a weldor. 30 bucks an hour X 5, 150, X 4 hours, 600 bucks. 1500 minimum for Century to come in and work on them, not get them done, Daylight gets told to go out fix their f'up.

    That's not cost effective, in my view. Trouble is, my crew is there 8 hours a day, 7 days a week ( 7 days coverage, different days off to make enough crews every day.) Some days very little breaks down, we might have to do 2 or 3 hours of actual work, spend the rest of the time in the coop waiting for something to break down.

    That drives Management batty. They have to pay the full department weekly coverage, and not have them working whistle to whistle. They DID bring it on themselves, if you look at it as them sending all our rebuild work out to"companies" started up by retired bosses that we used to do.

    I used to rebuild brakes on my off the crew time, and spring motors. "Spring motors" wind up the magnet cables as the hoist lifts a load, brakes lock the hoist motor and gearbox, 2 per hoist. One will hold the lift, but if it fails, the lift crashes down.

    After my boss retired, buddies running my department decided to send "MY" work to his new company to do. Got all his parts from our parts storeroom, "rebuilt" them, sent them back. We installed them and they didn't work. At least half were either immediately defective or failed in a short time. SOOOO, you send the crew out to replace with another that you had no faith would work or work for very long, and we have to bust a hump to replace them again.

    Some cranes are designed so badly that is one hell of a job to replace them. We didn't appreciate that the "rebuilds" were so damned badly done. BUT, bosses do love to scratch each others backs. Then, too, though I would never say there were any, kickbacks can be made when you take work out of the mill and have it "outsourced" like this.

    As to the "outside experts", another ex-boss got a job line (align) boring gearbox shaft fits on a really old crane. Pinion shaft, spur gears. We took it apart, weldor welded the fits, we put the cover back on. Amateurs set up their brand new portable machine tool, bored it out, got paid, left, we went to try to reassemble it (I wasn't on this crew initially. I gotta blow my own horn again. My background is not Steel Mill Millwright. Precision was required at my last job, not here.)

    My boss came to ask me why it wouldn't go together, could I come look? One glance and I told him they bored it about half an inch off. He wouldn't believe it, even tried reversing the pinion shaft, with gear, to see if it would go.

    Simple matter of taking out my pocket 6 inch scale and laying it on the split finally convinced him that he had been screwed. After he had accepted that, I jacked him about paying some jackoff 5 grand to f'up such a basic operation. He said they charged TEN grand.

    Gearbox welded to the floor of the trolley, had to be burned loose, brought to the machine shop, welded, put on the post mill, rebored, rewelded to the trolley floor. Lost another 10 days or so of service, and no heads rolled for that.

    Same boss, I had a long instructive discussion with in the coop with the entire crew at lunch about a gear problem. Tried to explain a problem to him. Recent Engineering grad, part time school at Pitt while he worked somewhere in the Company, and he said "I think you're wrong." OK.

    My leader told me later that he was on the phone with his Pitt instructor for hours trying to see if I was wrong. Horn blower time again, he was man enough to say I was right, let's go fix that.

    I don't know if I am missed there or not. Haven't spoken to any of them for years. I know I don't miss the work. 800 pound gorilla could do that work. Strong back, weak mind. It paid well but I probably would have been happier in a lower paid Machine Repair job. Trouble is, those jobs, when I was looking, were in the 8 buck an hour range.

    One guy wanted to hire me for 8 bucks and mentioned that if I were in the JIC (Joint Industry Council) program, he could pay me enough to be almost as much as UC. I said I was, he said "Then I can give you TEN bucks an hour!!"

    Well, DUH, yeah, they pay half of the wage for a year. So he COULD hire me for FIVE bucks on HIS payroll, the other 5 from JIC.
    EmplyERs are NOT looking to hire people for a living wage. They are looking to hire people at the lowest wage they can get them for.

    THAT is where a Union comes in. A company wants to hire a new man, he will pay Union wages. Companies normally have to replace them who retire, quit or die. NON-Union can hire for 7.15 or whatever per hour. UNION company WILL pay you the UNION entry wage. This may be the 2-tier wage so many have negotiated, but, come the day, you become fully payed.

    Read all about that in the rest of this Forum. So many who are looking for work are offered jobs at half what they were making. NOT Union jobs. SMALL shops. One shuts down or lays off. Our own posters can't find a job they can live with. UNLESS they are willing to travel halfway across the country.

    You're a case in point. Not because I think you are such a prick. Because Nobody is hiring, to any extent. Everybody is hunkering down. They won't hire unless they absolutely have to. I think you COULD have been happy in a Union job had you not been screwed in your first out of school in a territorial dispute.

    "You'd think that they'd have some brains and keep in touch, maybe offer me work, make those dues work. Nope."

    Few Unions do that. The ones that do are Seafarers, my brother belonged to that, whatever they call the Equipment Operators Union, Building Trades, Iron Workers, Masons.

    Many of those you never get called to tell you there are jobs open. When you are tired of laying about you go down to the Hall and throw your card into the basket. You are told you are senior and if you want the job you got it.

    Seafarers, I know, my brother was in it, there are good and bad lines. Many times he said he had shipped with them before, bad line to work for, give it to that young puppy, I'll take one coming up, maybe.

    Companies have a habit of making a reputation for themselves. Union people refuse to work for certain companies, for good reason. Safety, bad food, bad housekeeping, whatever.

    Erectors, the same, "They ain't safe, they cut corners, they hire people who can get people killed." We had a death on the David Lawrence Convention Center, because the pilings were mislocated. So I have heard, I don't actually know, not being involved, the piling was off and they tried to winch the support girder to allow connecting the girts. Snapped the bolts of the column and a man riding the girt fell to his death. Afterward, the NUTS were the reason. Idjit workers cut the nuts in half to make "lock or JAM nuts".

    All, I would bet, to reduce the liability of the erection company and the Insurers.

    All in all, you should probably stay where you are, at least for now. Just quit bitching about how bad you have it. There are guys here who are going to lose most of their machinery in the current financial situation.

    They can't borrow to buy the stock to make the parts for the company that cannot borrow to buy the parts that you had to borrow money TO make. THAT is not good for any of us.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    GeneH,

    They weren't so much temps, per se, as contractors hired on a job basis, cost plus, or flat fee for their labor.

    First, you have to understand that all Maintenance people are considered an expense. Companies hate to have to have them. They produce nothing that can be shipped out the door and billed for. We were considered a necessary evil that they dearly wanted to do away with.
    Which is a pretty stupid attitude - Maintenance are like oil. You need oil to run but it does not generate energy. A good staff will pay for itself in reduced downtime. That downtime and lost profit and opportunity cost can be calculated pretty damn easily by a good Accountant. Cutting corners on Maintenance is simply short term penny wise pound foolish thinking.

    Hey, maybe this economic crisis will change that? You never know.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    Companies have a habit of making a reputation for themselves. Union people refuse to work for certain companies, for good reason. Safety, bad food, bad housekeeping, whatever.
    Naturally. Some firms can be absolute shitholes. A Union wouldn't help a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    Erectors, the same, "They ain't safe, they cut corners, they hire people who can get people killed." We had a death on the David Lawrence Convention Center, because the pilings were mislocated. So I have heard, I don't actually know, not being involved, the piling was off and they tried to winch the support girder to allow connecting the girts. Snapped the bolts of the column and a man riding the girt fell to his death. Afterward, the NUTS were the reason. Idjit workers cut the nuts in half to make "lock or JAM nuts".

    All, I would bet, to reduce the liability of the erection company and the Insurers.
    Could also be expedient thinking. I've seen more disasters because someone confused motion with accomplishment and wanted to "Do Something" so they took a quick and dirty shortcut that burned 'em.

    I don't know how some people get to sleep at night knowing that their foolhardiness has ended up killing someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    All in all, you should probably stay where you are, at least for now. Just quit bitching about how bad you have it.
    I can deal with my boss and I love my job. I sure hope I don't sound bitter.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    There are guys here who are going to lose most of their machinery in the current financial situation.

    They can't borrow to buy the stock to make the parts for the company that cannot borrow to buy the parts that you had to borrow money TO make. THAT is not good for any of us.

    Cheers,

    George
    It's frightening because these people will lose not only their stock and machinery but also take shots on their credit rating and will lose out on business opportunities and skill building.

    I"m not insensitive to that at all. There isn't a lot I can do about it either.

    George I will never know how I felt about the IBEW if they had kept me. We might have become good partners, except when they asked me to vote for politicians that wanted to mess with me.

    Gene

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    Quote Originally Posted by metlmunchr View Post
    Sorta reminds me of Gene's effect on an otherwise intelligent and informative discussion.
    gene, do you have to ruin everything??? there was a nice discussion going on here about blast furnaces, and you have to go trolling around about unions again?

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    Anchor,

    Did I somehow allow this to veer away from blast furnaces? I AM sorry.

    What would you like to know? I was not on the hot end, worked in the sheet finish mill, took a tour of the basic mill and was fascinated enough to read up on it.

    That was before the continuous caster. Cast 25 tons of steel into ingot, put them into "soaking pits", keep them hot, tong them out, lay them on the ingot mill, forget if that is what we called it, but, lay that 4 X 4 X 6 or 8 chunk on the rolls, man in the booth runs it back and forth, lowers the rolls, flips it 90 degrees to square up, then rolls it out to 8 inches thick X inches wide, XX feet long. BIG shear crops the ends off it, if it is a narrow slab, will crop to approx weight of that order's finish.

    That was interesting. SLAB mill. Just remembered. They made slabs from ingots.

    Upgrade to the dual strand continuous caster. Oh, remember, the slabs we used to make came off like sheets of thick wet cardboard. Sagged like hell between the chains and outside the chains. Essey shaped. Like a sine wave. Hard to stack. Had at least one man killed because they were so unstable.

    Caster, on the other hand, does the same number of slabs (blast furnaces and BOP vessels can only make XX tons of steel per day), but we didn't have to roll 25 ton ingots and crop 5 tons or so off the ends.

    Every ton is usable steel. The interface between one grade and another is sold at a lower price for such as guard rail material, not high quality, it's designed by DOTs to deflect or bend to reduce danger to drivers.

    Beautiful to watch. 250 tons of molten metal are poured into the reservoir, fed into water cooled copper dies, adjustable as to width, and out from the bottom comes a VERY hot ribbon of very flexible steel, 8 inches thick, that flows down the arc to make it straight. Saw to length, Kress Carrier carries it out to the storage area, send them to us, stack them like cards. Less than an inch waviness in them. Very stable stack.

    Our people feel more confident walking in the slab field recording them. Because that was not my mileau, I think I was more fearful leaving a crane and making my way between stacks of hot coils 3 or four high, fearing that a craneman might come down the aisle and knock down a stack while I am going back to the coop.

    BAd thing about continuous caster is that if you have a "breakout", for some reason the copper dies do not adjust, only happened when they were learning the process, and Nucor had the same problem, is that you might lose 250 tons of molten metal down amongst the electricals.3000 degree molten metal is not good when dumped into all the control stuff.

    On the other hand, it is remarkable that they can get people to get in there and burn, you can hardly get steel that has solidified, all that scrap out of the control channels, rewire, and be back in operation in a week or so.

    Loss of water to the caster is worse. The copper melts. You can't use an oxygen lance on a couple hundred tons of copper. You use saws.

    Them who think the Crash Crews in those mills are not worth their pay because they sit on their asses most of the time have no idea of what an emergency is.

    When you need them, you need them NOW. Same as EMTs and Firemen. You don't e-mail when there is a tragedy, hope that the people in your organization are online and will read their "ding-dong", you've got mail.

    GeneH says:

    A good staff will pay for itself in reduced downtime. That downtime and lost profit and opportunity cost can be calculated pretty damn easily by a good Accountant.

    Noone ever said that ANY company has ever hired a GOOD accountant. That is the profession that is know as "bean counters". Bean counters CAN tell you that you would have saved this much, THIS TIME, if you had a full time maintenance crew, BUT, that same crew would cost you THIS MUCH, if you make them full time.

    YOU have to decide if you can pay contractors to come in and fix your machines, when they can schedule you, against the loss of the machine that is no longer producing.

    I wonder what the bill would have been had I not had a job and the company had had to call the contractor 10 to 20 times per shift for yet ANOTHER breakdown.

    I have had as many, and I will admit many might be a clutch is maladjusted. They wear. Might be 5 minutes. What would YOU pay an outside company to come adjust the clutch on the apron of your lathe? 20 bucks? My hourly? Or 500., mebbe the minimum that a contractor wants?

    Back to the Blast Furnace, BOP Shop thing, how would you like to sit in the cab of that crane with 250 tons of white hot metal 6 feet below your cab?

    Cheers,

    George

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    "250 tons of molten metal are poured into the reservoir"

    George,
    I've seen pix, and I've seen drawings of mock-up's of those things,
    but they never say or show HOW they get that 250 tons + ladle UP
    there, I read somewhere it is about 8 stories up.

    And the pix i've seen of the building looks to be true.

    Does the crane bring the ladle over to an elevator ?
    And then another crane up at the top?
    or is there a separate crane that drops down all 8 stories ?
    swings over the side ?

    tnx
    Doug

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    most casters round the world are about 12-15 meters radius, the turret on the top about 10 m tall, the cranes however are way up in the sky at 80m, the ones i work with carry about 5oo tons [54 rope falls per hook, two hooks] a lot of rope at 2" dia]
    one of the casters goes out to 2.54 m wide 234 mm thick, 350 tons 0f liquid steel in about 35 mins.
    and yes the slabs are big and very very hot, i used to inspect them [including bottom] and melt a visor every 15 mins.
    breakouts were a big big bang.
    mark

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    Mark,

    Ah, you know such. They are BIG cranes, true. Lift lots, and, as you say many falls of heavy wire. No fun at all to rewire such a crane.

    Our BOP is served by 350 ton cranes. 250 of melt, balance the ladle. They may be at capacity, though as you know, capacity is more than the actual rating of the crane, if no regulators are in the vicinity.

    Have never, I was only there once, counted the falls nor the wire D.

    Doug,

    No, one crane lifts the vessel, moves it to the right spot, the auxiliary hoist tips the ladle to pour. This is another place where people with experience are required in such work.

    You would, ordinarily, think that cranemen are low paid personnel. Basic hire in USS IS as Cranemen. My mill did not hire janitors and promote them TO the cranes. On the contrary, Cranemen have bid OFF cranes to BE janitors.

    You work harder AS Cranemen, though you might think flicking levers is an easy job. Hand/eye acuity is probably better in the GOOD cranemen than some of the machinists here.

    Interpolated, these guys are positioning coils atop each other over a 120 foot span, and setting one upon another. That would be equivalent to you holding a thou on something a few inches long or in diameter.

    Mark,

    I looked at the christening, loved it, what I have written is about the extent of what I know, except for the crane parts. Them I know intimately. Mine, before I retired, ran from 5 to 140 tons, and jibs, of course. Ran more goddamned wire and replaced more goddamned brakes and fixed more goddamned gearboxes than anybody should have to.

    Mostly because I was in a mill that had DUMB bosses who would not listen to anybody who did not go through THEIR apprenticeship.

    MY papers were from outside. I was suspect. Something was badly wrong, it was because there was something wrong with the design of the crane.

    I suggested we do this, and it worked, the more I was distrusted. What I suggested meant less OT, or that the machine would be fixed AT ALL.

    I was an outsider so what I said was often not taken seriously.

    I really could give a shit less. I am glad to be done with that. I have heard that things are getting really shitty.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Interesting topic, I may have to read up a little more on the process of steelmaking. Thanks for the info George. It's one thing to see what's in an alloy and another to think about what has to happen at the steel mill or maybe the foundry to make the metal you cut.

    About Crane men. A 'Well Seasoned" fellow comes over from across the street to the shop to say hi and collect cans every day. John always says 'Woody, Woody, Woody!" to me when he sees me (my nick name). A good guy. He finished up over at the Shovel on a 50 ton crane in the big machine shop. Had about 40 years in when they closed down.

    From the "hills", Kentuckey maybe, didn't finish high school, etc. Many of you know the kind of man I mean. Salt of the earth, a guy you really like to say hi to in the morning.

    But every day he helped the machinists move the work, big stuff, with safety and control. Some parts worth tens if not hundreds of thousnds of dollars. A highly skilled job most people couldn't understand doing today. He was as skilled as any of the operators at work on the big machines below him.

    Walt

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    Woody,

    Marion? Is that where they made "Big Muskey"?

    When I was in the Westinghouse, many years ago, we made the motor generator sets for strip shovels. You get some idea of scale when you assemble 70 foot long MG sets that you know there are more of in that machine.

    Loved looking at them on rides North to Pymatuning area. BIG muthas.

    Make you kinda wonder why 25,000 tons of machine costs 25 million bucks, and 250 tons of airliner is worth 250 million bucks. One machie pays for itself several times per year, the other never pays for itself. The airplane.

    BUT, airplanes seem to be all that the US wants to make, even tho' with 90% imported parts that have to be reworked.

    We don't WANT an industrial policy nor an industrial infrastructure. This cannot be coincidental. Some heads of companies make more with things as they are. Did they actually MAKE anything, at the company's expense, and make smaller profit, their bonus would be smaller.

    We are in for a world of hurtin', as I have mentioned.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    Back to the Blast Furnace, BOP Shop thing, how would you like to sit in the cab of that crane with 250 tons of white hot metal 6 feet below your cab?

    Cheers,

    George
    Sounds interesting, George. Takes some nerve to be sure.

    I've seen the inside of a glass furnace before. I did lab tech work. Fascinating. Fortunately I did little stone ID so I didn't work with nasty reagents.

    George, how would you like to reach your hands into a piece of complex equipment that has the parts encrusted with Hepatitis C infected blood? Lots of little parts containing burrs and wires that could puncture your gloves.

    Did you know that the treatment for Hep C, George, is one that stimulates your immune system to the breaking point? You get the Flu for a year, can't keep food down, shit yourself, and are miserable. The treatment works about a third of the time. If you don't take care of it you can get liver cancer and die in agony. Hep C will also cause kidney damage, leading to you being a dialysis patient. So you get your interferon shots, suffer and hope a lot.

    You gotta get the blood out by using cleansers, scrub pads and time. Once the blood is gone you have to remove the cleaners. You remove the cleaners with ultra pure water. All it takes to get a mess is one RN who is chattering instead of doing their job. They don't get a write up if they cause a mess either.

    How about handling an artificial kidney that was used by an AIDS patient? It's right there in your hands, billions of tiny little virii that could infect you with a lingering death. One slip of a hose, a failure of your PPE and you get infected, and slowly die.

    I did such work for less than ten bucks an hour, George. Minimal benefits. I kept hundreds of people alive, in good health. Think about it the next time you have to go to the Doctor or Hospital.

    Since that time my work has been pretty safe. I'm also a lot sharper than back then too.

    There are many dangerous jobs out there, George. Join the club.

    Gene

    Did not know that there were dedicated "crash crews" in the Mill. Makes a lot of sense.

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    GeneH,
    Of course, I wouldn't

    Do you want me to praise you for doing that or pity you for HAVING to do that to keep body and soul together?

    Nor do any of the people doing this work think they are heroic. It's just a job. They get a paycheck every week, just as you do. They spend it and go back to work the next day.

    "Crash crew" is really a misnomer. When you cut a 100 man department to 15, that is about all you CAN do. Go fix the worst problems. Lesser problems wait till people are available.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    GeneH,
    Of course, I wouldn't

    Do you want me to praise you for doing that or pity you for HAVING to do that to keep body and soul together?
    I expect no more praise for what I did than for any praise you deserve for hovering six feet over a vat of white hot molten steel, George. I think your job would be interesting but no more risky to the health than some of the things I did for a living.

    Pity? I kept an urban dialysis clinic in the black. I kept the patients in good quality care. I kept them alive and the equipment in good order. Six months after I left to take a new job the Clinic was on its knees. My smart ass, it seems, read some books, developed some techniques and applied them vigorously. Nobody could understand exactly how I did it.

    In Lean Training there are several wastes. The one nobody seems to notice is the "waste of employee creativity and initiative". Your situation sounds like a case of it. So was mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    Nor do any of the people doing this work think they are heroic. It's just a job. They get a paycheck every week, just as you do. They spend it and go back to work the next day.
    Some of us try to put things aside, George. It's not easy and it will get tougher still next year when the Fed's "pumping" this year takes hold next year. Combine that with Card Check and I see a lot more outsourcing going on in this country.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    "Crash crew" is really a misnomer. When you cut a 100 man department to 15, that is about all you CAN do. Go fix the worst problems. Lesser problems wait till people are available.

    Cheers,

    George
    Damn shame, George, Corporate Anorexia. I never liked it either when I worked in the Office.

    You know, it's funny. When I sat on the "War Councils" and they were computing labor costs nobody every considered expanding market share, building up new product niches or perhaps tweaking a production process.

    I would put forward some ideas even volunteer to do the feasibility studies. If you think that management didn't listen to you, well, they didn't listen to anyone. I think except on the Golf Course.

    No dice on new ways to use the same people, more efficiently, to make their jobs simpler, less hectic, even use their skills in a meaningful way. It was always, "Who can we layoff this year?".

    Stupid is as stupid does, George. They're out of business now. I'm not.

    Gene

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    GeneH,

    Methinks you misinterpret my intent.

    "Nor do any of the people doing this work think they are heroic. It's just a job. They get a paycheck every week, just as you do. They spend it and go back to work the next day."

    Some of us try to put things aside, George. It's not easy and it will get tougher still next year when the Fed's "pumping" this year takes hold next year. Combine that with Card Check and I see a lot more outsourcing going on in this country.

    Gene,

    The above quote is not to say that a WORKING man will not put a few bucks out of his paycheck into the bank. MOST working people, NOT them like you, who are making big bucks, will manage to put as MUCH away as you do. 'Nother few years, you should be in the hoi poloi, if we listen to you.

    It is unreasonable, spins our minds, to hear you guys tell us how the credit crisis, and car companies failing are going to put all of US into penury. If I have 1,000 bucks in the local bank, I think it WILL be there when I need it, and just a bit in interest. I could just as well put any money I have under the mattress and get NEARLY the same return as banks are paying today.

    If I put any monies I have to spare into the BIG banks, and the BIG Investment Banks, all bets are off.

    Which of those would be YOUR choice? Put your money where your mouth is.

    Obama said today that things are getting worse day by day. Up to 700 MORE BILLION bucks as stimulus. Absolutely impossible to finance, since he has said he will probably NOT negate the BUSH tax cuts that are to expire at the end of 2010.

    Have I mentioned that we are in for a world of hurtin"? Well, I have told you again. I don't care for me, but I sure as hell do for my kids and even more so for my grandkids.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    GeneH,

    Methinks you misinterpret my intent.

    "Nor do any of the people doing this work think they are heroic. It's just a job. They get a paycheck every week, just as you do. They spend it and go back to work the next day."

    Some of us try to put things aside, George. It's not easy and it will get tougher still next year when the Fed's "pumping" this year takes hold next year. Combine that with Card Check and I see a lot more outsourcing going on in this country.

    Gene,

    The above quote is not to say that a WORKING man will not put a few bucks out of his paycheck into the bank. MOST working people, NOT them like you, who are making big bucks, will manage to put as MUCH away as you do. 'Nother few years, you should be in the hoi poloi, if we listen to you.

    It is unreasonable, spins our minds, to hear you guys tell us how the credit crisis, and car companies failing are going to put all of US into penury. If I have 1,000 bucks in the local bank, I think it WILL be there when I need it, and just a bit in interest. I could just as well put any money I have under the mattress and get NEARLY the same return as banks are paying today.

    If I put any monies I have to spare into the BIG banks, and the BIG Investment Banks, all bets are off.

    Which of those would be YOUR choice? Put your money where your mouth is.

    Obama said today that things are getting worse day by day. Up to 700 MORE BILLION bucks as stimulus. Absolutely impossible to finance, since he has said he will probably NOT negate the BUSH tax cuts that are to expire at the end of 2010.

    Have I mentioned that we are in for a world of hurtin"? Well, I have told you again. I don't care for me, but I sure as hell do for my kids and even more so for my grandkids.

    Cheers,

    George
    I don't put THAT MUCH away, George. Do try to save a bit.

    As far as Investment banks... I have this philosophy. I don't gamble what I cannot afford to lose. So I don't own any stocks, bonds or other stuff. I try to invest in skills and keeping my health.

    I'm not concerned about the future of the US. Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi and some other folks who have had to stifle for years are finally in the catbird seat. They've been handed a shot at making a second New Deal.

    Unlike in the 1930s, when people had to rely upon Corporate owned Newspapers and Radio, today news is available from many sources. Our friends with their radical ideas, tried without success already in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, won't be able to weasel their way out like before. They're gonna put out these radical ideas, they're gonna fail spectacularly, and there won't be any excuses.

    Doubt we'll go back to the bad old days of Robber Barons, but I see a "small town America" on the horizon and I think it's gonna be a nice place to live.

    Gene

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    GeneH,

    "I'm not concerned about the future of the US. Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi and some other folks who have had to stifle for years are finally in the catbird seat. They've been handed a shot at making a second New Deal."

    Here, it is still November 25, 2008. The Dems have a virtual tie in the Senate, and a small edge in the House. The Pres is STILL GW Bush. There is NOTHING that the DEMS can pass that can override a Bush Veto.

    NOT ONE CENT of the 4.3 TRILLION that has been COMMITTED to the bailout, NOT voted on by the Congress, is the domain of the Democratic Congress Elect, nor the President Elect. This is all being put forward by the outgoing regime.

    I am sure that all you read is the Tribune-Review, a totally Republican rag. Lead on the front page is that 7.7 TRILLION has been committed, one HALF of the last year's entire Gross Domestic Product.

    Are they INSANE? Or is this just the last great grasp at the teat of the US Taxpayer? We are throwing money at all who do not matter ALL that much. We throw money at the banks. They do not free up lending. They buy up other banks. Consolidate even more than they are, now. If they weren't Too Big To Fail before, they soon will be. When there are only 2 or 3 banks in the entire country, it will be as it is with 3 or 4 phone companies, and 3 or 4 oil companies, and 3 or 4 power companies and 3 or 4 Insurance Companies, and 1 or 2 hospitals.

    3 automakers were considered too few to compete, years ago. Let the Japanese companies come in. They will provide competition, our own companies will become more agile.

    Nope, didn't happen. They coexisted. Happy to divvy up the sales. We all make money. And they DID. NOW, the Domestics see all that money being given to anybody with a tin cup and go to get their share.

    "Unlike in the 1930s, when people had to rely upon Corporate owned Newspapers and Radio, today news is available from many sources. Our friends with their radical ideas, tried without success already in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, won't be able to weasel their way out like before. They're gonna put out these radical ideas, they're gonna fail spectacularly, and there won't be any excuses."

    Where in the world did you come up with the idea that news is not still strictly controlled? You would not, in a million years, believe anything you did not get from YOUR strictly Right Wing press, just as I would not in a million years give much credence to anything your side posted.

    I read your preferred rag, remember. I will admit it is mostly for the local Obits, too many of my confreres have died that I didn't know about because when I worked in Allegheny County, the papers brought in were Pittsburgh papers. No, or few, Westmoreland Obits. I hate learning months later that a friend has died.

    However, I do like to keep up on how them of you think. I also read strictly Rep tilted magazines. Probably more than you do. (I have more time.)

    What "radical ideas" are the Dems proposing? Better yet, with the new regime 55 days away, why are the ideas being implemented now "radical"? You ARE aware that Bush and Co. are still in power, aren't you? Nothing Obama CAN propose has the power of LAW. ANYTHING Bush proposes CAN have that power.

    YOU and yours are already blaming the 2 months from taking office Dems with all the ills of the last 8 years failures.

    The only sensible thing I have heard is Pelosi telling the Automakers to come up with a plan before they get 25 billion bucks.

    I have not heard that AIG, CITI, Lehman, Fannie, Freddie, anybody else, has to come up with A PLAN to get hundreds of billions dropped into their greedy little hands. I have not, YET, heard ANY plan to help homeowners keep their houses.

    I don't give a damn about the people losing their second or third mansion (class warfare, I know), but I am concerned with people with moderate incomes who were victims of "predatory lending", which the Government Regulators have determined actually DID exist. BUSH GOVERNMENT, NOT Dems.

    Annoying thing about you is you don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of but, by God, you are a Republican through and through.

    Did you ever think about it, you have never done well under Rep Admin, but you are completely blind to it. "None are so blind as those who will not see." That must have been written just for you, many years ago.

    I think there is no hope for you. Did your dad drop you on your head when you were young, and you decided you would never trust another Democrat? What a prick he must have been, and I wish he were more astute.

    You are the result. I feel sorry for you. Blindness is terrible, I think. That from an old man who has to wear bifocals. Without vision I think I would lay down and die.

    You refuse to see.

    Cheers,

    George

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    Hi George,

    It's been a few days, but yes that's the Marion I'm talking about. They made it into the ninties after being bought out by Dresser. Made spares and did repair work I think. Finally Bucyrus Eire took it about 10-15 yars ago, pulled out any machines and equipment they needed, and that was it.

    It was a pretty good run, about a hundred years.

    They built walking draglines as well, but they were known for shovles. Big Muskie, I think, was the largest ever built. After a fire, it was scraped out. I don't think they needed it anyway for the high sulfer coal in this part of the country.

    My lead at work , who worked on a 15' table VBM, told me about running the eccentric cranks for the 'legs' on the draglines and the 'spools' for the 3" or so cable they used.

    Many of the men who are showing me the ropes at work put some time in at the Shovel, real good machinists, one of better reasons for staying where I'm at 'cause it's sure aint the money.

    I don't agree with you much of the time, but you really had a good point about not manufacturing in America anymore.

    Here in Marion, at one time, we had thousands of good paying jobs. The Shovel, Tecumseh, Huber, the Eire RR west end yards, and many smaller places. Whirlpool stills make dryers and Nucor bought out the minimill a few years ago. There's still a few small places, but that's about it.

    Bussiness people and managment don't want to make anything, and most people don't want to work it even if there a still a few jobs out there.

    Walt


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