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  1. #21
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    MachineHead, sorry to hear that...Things will look up... I am in a Heck of a situation , myself... After 13 years in business, My business partner & I are at war with each other. All through the years, i generated about 95% of the income, that was split... Sometimes he only dropped by the shop a few hours a week... Up til several years ago, it was a pretty good income, so I did not complain. Now, his other business is suffering, due to taking on a program of junk Chinese tooling. So now he thinks that we are supposed to fix that crap for free, & still split the income I make from the good customers. :mad: He has made me an insulting offer, but offered to sell his part for the same amount.. Bad thing is, the shop is in place in a building we rent from him... I may call a few machinery dealers, to try to get a better offer, but now, I am about ready to take the offer... & let him try to figure out how to run the EDM & CNC... And I will not have to listen to his wife gripe at me..

  2. #22
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    Thanks Davis, but the statistics aren't pretty:

    YEAR-----TP--------EM---------PP
    1920-----106.0-----10.658-----10.0%
    1930-----123.2------9.562------7.8%
    1940-----132.1-----10.985-----8.3%
    1944-----139.8-----17.602-----12.6%
    1950-----151.3-----15.241-----10.1%
    1960-----179.3-----16.796-----9.4%
    1970-----203.3-----19.367-----9.5%
    1980-----226.5-----20.285-----8.9%
    1990-----248.7-----19.076-----7.7%
    2000-----281.4-----18.473-----6.6%
    2004-----293.9-----16.484-----5.6%

    TP = Total U.S. population (millions)
    EM = People employed in manufacturing (millions)
    PP = Percent employed in manufacturing of total population
    source: Statistical Abstract of the United States

    Now graph this (I've done it) against U.S. tariff data and the graphs ARE IDENTICAL (tariff revenues as percentage of all revenues). The tariff graph leads the employment graph by about 10 years (as goes tariffs--so goes manufacturing--it takes about 10 years for the economy to statistically respond). The tariff graph by 2010 will, for all practical purposes, be zero (right now its about 1.0% of all federal revenues). Manufacturing will be close behind by about 10 years (2020) for all practical purposes. There will be regional differences, but they are negligable.


    Steve

  3. #23
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    I worked off and on for several years at a company called Century Design Inc. In San Diego Ca.(www.centurydesigninc.com) a manufacturer of machines that make carbon fiber/fiberglass/nomex fabric items (golf clubs, drive shafts, tennis rackets,etc)

    I got my job there through a temp agency and was always promised that they would hire me full time but after being laid off there several time I knew is was just smoke and mirrors.

    My job entailed me to build the machines (install motors,gearboxes,pneumatic and hydraulic systems and actuators. If I was on one of the larger machines I first went out to the dumpster and scrounged cardboard boxes to flatten to lay on while working under the machines(the floor had grease and oil stains and metal chips from drilling and tapping.

    The office and lobby were airconditioned but the shop floor was like an oven in the summer. At any one time I think maybe 4 people were considered "permanent" and the rest of us 10 or so were just temps. It's unfortunate San Diego is becomming a city of temp workers with no benifits or job security.

  4. #24
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    Davis In SC -

    Are the customers "your customers"? As in, if you call them on the phone and tell them you moved, will they follow or stay with the shop name? The customers are your biggest assest if you go, not the shop.

    If they are going to stay with the shop, you could alway ask for a rental agreement to be part of your buy out. Two or three years is plenty of time to find another building to rent or buy.

    Ted

  5. #25
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    William, I thought about trying to do that, but the building we are in is shared with his other business. Almost all of our work is somehow related to the other business. I just think there would be way too many conflicts. The other company does not like to spend money on tools or supplies, so it would be a constant battle to keep them from "Borrowing" stuff a dozen times a day.... All in all, I think it would be better to just get out, & move on with my life. I did learn, never to get involved in a partnership, again...

  6. #26
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    Steve...

    I am sorry to hear of your situation. I hope you have the resume polished and ready to send out...

    --jerry

  7. #27
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    Thanks Jerry, I've been pounding the pavement and have a couple offers - for less money - but can hold me over while I search for a more permanent job.

    I miss the guys at the other shop. They were mad when I got axed and said they had no reason to get rid of me other than I ticked off the one foreman when he started taking pot shots at me and I went back at him. Without a union we have no protection. The foreman has a reputation for picking on people he doesn't like and then canning them if they fight back.

    One of my job leads came from a co-worker who told an old employer to talk to me. Moral after I left has gone down the toilet (was on the toilet seat when I was there).

    Steve

  8. #28
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    Davis In SC -
    Yeah, partnerships are a tricky thing. I'm sure you will land on your feet, best luck.

    Ted

  9. #29
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    (1)How would you describe your company?
    A. Machine shop with own product line.
    Although they have been getting me and the journyman to do more 'job shop' type things of late for the other location.

    (2) Number of employees?
    9 machinists/operators, 7sh office (only see 4 more than once a month)

    (3) Average age of employed machinists?
    Thats tuff, most are phillipino and they seem to look younger than white people like me. I'm 21, the youngest and I'm guessing late 30s earliy 40s oldest.

    (4) Average hours worked per week?
    40, the occational overtime

    (5) Are there paid breaks? If so, how many minutes a day?
    2, 15 minutes. We can take a break if we need one as well, I tend to do so when I get upset with something not working out for me.

    (6) Paid vacation time?
    None that I know of

    (7) Paid sick days?
    Again not that I know of

    (8) Paid health insurance?
    Government health care, but nothing they pay for. I sure would like dental

    (9) Average employment stay?
    7 years... Most of the guys have been there since the start, the rest are either really new (like me)

    (10) Work place pressure scale 1 to 5
    1 = little to no pressure
    5 = Much pressure - want to leave situation
    To produce lots of product: 2
    To produce very little scrap: 4

    (11) Pay
    I get $13/hr, but have been offered better

    (11) Additional comments (written)
    Its the people I work with that makes it so great. I prefer manual work, and my journeyman is an excellent resource that is more than happy to teach but also lets me learn by doing. The boss couldn't be nicer or more understanding, the boss's boss always asks if I'm having fun not if I'm producing lots. My co-workers respect me even though I'm 21 and look 15. Like Pete M said, there are so many things that make me look forward to going to work, and staying late and thats what makes the job great.

    Pat

  10. #30
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    Steve

    You found something yet?... You could think about coming to Texas if not... Differerent world than Ill (I know... lived in Ill for 15+ years....)....

    Some things worse here.. some things better... for my kids, I have no reservations where to be...

    --jerry

  11. #31
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    Jerry, thank you for asking. Actually I start May 22 at Target distribution center (!) at $14/hr working in a warehouse 1st shift. They say it goes up to $17/hr pretty fast and I can live on that. First time since I was in my 20s' that I'm not in a machine shop or manufacturing. Gonna feel weird but I'm getting leery of shops, especially after that last one; what a sweatshop. That place sold out and now I hear the old owners family will be getting axed which includes his son, daughter, and wife. Morale there is in the toilet. I interviewed at a big machine shop that would entail running boring mills. Starting pay with little boring mill experience and medium-high pressure, 2nd shift: $13-$15/hr. No thanks. Not gonna get stressed out about scrapping $10,000 castings for $13/hr and worry about my job. Plus I want to spend time with my son everyday, not just weekends. He's only 9, autistic, and needs his Dad. And Dad needs him.
    I have a brother-in-law in Houston and another relative in Spring, Texas. They seem to like it, but you can keep that heat.

    Life treating you well?

    Steve

  12. #32
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    Pat, go get em' tiger, glad to hear they treat you well. It sure sucks when they don't.

    Steve

  13. #33
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    Steve,

    I'm glad you found something--maybe just get your machining fix by setting up a home machine shop?! PM is full of rough, tough guys no doubt , but I can tell you that having time with a kid and less stress makes a paycut seem worth it. Speaking for myself, that is, I was surprised how little I missed the big money.

    Best to you.

  14. #34
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    1)How would you describe your company?
    A. Machine shop with own product line.
    B. Machine shop with combination product line, job shop.
    C. Job shop, no product line.
    D. Maintenance
    E. Self-employed
    F. Other (describe)
    C
    (2) Number of employees?
    20
    (3) Average age of employed machinists?
    35
    (4) Average hours worked per week?
    48
    (5) Are there paid breaks? If so, how many minutes a day?
    No
    (6) Paid vacation time?
    Yes- 1year 1 week
    3 years 2 weeks
    5 years 3 weeks
    12 years 4 weeks
    (7) Paid sick days?
    No

    (8) Paid health insurance?
    Yes,with employee contribution for family

    (9) Average employment stay?
    6 to 8 years-me 16 years
    (10) Work place pressure scale 1 to 5
    1 = little to no pressure
    5 = Much pressure - want to leave situation
    5 But don't want to leave-no place better to go to in this area
    (11) Pay
    me-19/hr others I don't know
    (11) Additional comments (written)


    Any comments/suggestions, I'm open.

  15. #35
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    Ok, lets see here/// [img]smile.gif[/img]


    (1)How would you describe your company?
    A. Machine shop with own product line.
    B. Machine shop with combination product line, job shop.
    C. Job shop, no product line.
    D. Maintenance
    E. Self-employed
    F. Other (describe)


    we are a custom Plastic injection molding shop We have 2 dozen presses from 35 ton to 400 ton, and one vertical press. I do mold maint and Engineering changes, solve molding problems wit htooling, make new molds in house, Solidworks and Moldflow engineering(I do this mostly)

    (2) Number of employees?

    about 50 (3 moldmakers)

    (3) Average age of employed machinist?

    We have 3 moldmakers, the boss has 37 yrs experience, me and the other guy have 20 years each..Im 35,lol..


    (4) Average hours worked per week?

    45 to 50...

    (5) Are there paid breaks? If so, how many minutes a day?

    Yes, 2 10 min breaks and 1/2 hour lunch unpaid..

    (6) Paid vacation time?

    2 days after 6 months, 2 weeks after a year, 3 weeks after 5 years and 4 weeks after 10 yrs...


    (7) Paid sick days?

    Yes, we are salary wit hOT benefits(get paid for OT at OT rate)

    (8) Paid health insurance?

    Yes

    (9) Average employment stay?

    5 years or more

    (10) Work place pressure scale 1 to 5
    1 = little to no pressure
    5 = Much pressure - want to leave situation

    about a 2 or 3, unless we have an emergency, but leaving would be bad,lol


    (11) Pay

    Looks like ill do $70k this year..not bad for florida manufacturing.

    (11) Additional comments (written)

    I actually had another job offer last week, for almost 3 bux more an hour...I got a $1.00 raise and was happy to stay...the other offer was 35 miles one way, so any less than 2 bux an hpour gets eaten up with gas costs..

  16. #36
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    (1)How would you describe your company?
    C. Job shop, no product line.
    (2) Number of employees?
    1 -- ME
    (3) Average age of employed machinists?
    52 -- ME
    (4) Average hours worked per week?
    0 - 20 HOURS
    (5) Are there paid breaks? If so, how many
    minutes a day?
    SHORT BREAKS - YES, Whatever I need, paid
    LONG BREAKS - No, whenever I need
    (6) Paid vacation time?
    NO
    (7) Paid sick days?
    NO
    (8) Paid health insurance?
    NO
    (9) Average employment stay?
    LIFETIME - IT'S JUST ME
    (10) Work place pressure scale 1 to 5
    1+ - Depends how much I need to pressure
    myself!
    (11) Pay
    $8 - $36 net!. Depends if it's a friend or a
    well off company!.
    (12) Additional comments (written)
    I am disabled and can only work part time in
    my own shop. I am on call by my main
    customer/friend and specialize in rush
    jobs. Overnight if needed, and it happens
    in about 1 out of 10 jobs, and I do charge
    extra to stay up all night!. Also, I have
    many "word of mouth" and "repeat" customer's
    whom call when I am needed.

  17. #37
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    Stephanie, thank you. I have now joined the other 222,500 Illinois workers who have left manufacturing since 1990 and will now make less money in a service job. I have two lathes, a mill, saw, surface grinder, arc welder in my garage to take care of my own machining needs and those of friends. Just don't have much time. My 9 year old autistic son is very dependent on me for companionship. We take care of a couple of girls (10 and 7 - Mom works 2 jobs) who interact with my boy to the best of their abilities, but I'm still number one person in Mikes'(my son) life. Now to see if we can keep up with the medical bills when the new insurance lets us know how much they will and won't cover.

    Steve

  18. #38
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    Steve , I got laid off after 25 years at my old job ( Machine Tool Fitter ) about 2 years ago, Industry's going the same way in the U.K. as the U.S.A. I'm afraid. Eventually I got a job in a local high school as a technician in the Resistant Materiels department ( Woodwork and Metalwork when I was at school ) ,going from from 70 and 80 ton machines to "Colchester Students" and little "Bridgeports" was a culture shock but you survive.
    Surprisingly one of the pluses is working with young people, most of them are great and it's nice to pass on some of my skills to the kids. Another plus is having access to wood and woodworking machinery for the first time in my life. My salary is about 2/3 of what it was before but money's not everything.
    I do miss the camaraderie of the guys I worked with in Industry, they were great times, but I don't miss the pressure and the lack of appreciation that seems to go with the job.
    Good luck in the future and all the best for you and your son, we have the National Health Service in the U.K. and although it's not perfect by any means we are spared the kind of health insurance problems you have in the U.S.A.
    Regards Tyrone.

  19. #39
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    Thank you very much Tyrone, and best to you also.

    Steve

  20. #40
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    Steve, I know you invited machinists to post here, I for one wouldn't want to work in many of the places you guys describe. When I consider my business . . . here is how I would respond.

    (1)How would you describe your company?
    F. Other (describe) - specialty machine and control system builder with several solid "standard" products spanning Machine Tool, Paper, Glass, Engineered wood products Industries. Sell mostly to US companies on the other side of the Mississippi, have also sold machines to Mexico, Europe, South Korea and Canada.

    (2) Number of employees? 37

    (3) Average age of employed machinists? (only one machinist so far - estimating he is 28)

    Average age of all employees 34.6

    (4) Average hours worked per week?
    Office staff 40 hours
    Engineers 45-50 hours depending on skill
    Machinist / Electro-Mechanical techs 40 hrs w/occasional OT if wanted.

    (5) Are there paid breaks? If so, how many minutes a day?
    2 each @ 15 minutes paid (I believe this is well defined by the Dept of Labor and Industries)

    (6) Paid vacation time?
    1 year = 1 week
    3 years = 2 weeks
    5 years = 3 weeks
    10 years = 4 weeks
    (we are only 10 years old, when we get to 15 we will figure out if that means another year or not)

    (7) Paid sick days?
    1 PTO day per quarter, you can bank up to 5? 8? 10? (cant remember) PTO days, use them for anything you want + 8 paid holidays

    (8) Paid health insurance?
    Company pays 75% / Employee pays 25%
    + company pays first $1000 of deductible / copays for each employee/family

    (9) Average employment stay?
    ~5.5 years not counting those we have hired in the last year, more than 60% of the people who started here are still here.

    (10) Work place pressure scale 1 to 5
    1 = little to no pressure
    5 = Much pressure - want to leave situation

    2-3 - MUCH higher if you are an engineer starting a system up in a plant, but people don't neccesarily want to leave with higher pressure - some of us like pressure - those (engineers) who don't like pressure are usually not here for very long. We are working on making the pressure closer to a 3.5 on a consistent basis. (3.5 is high for the shop / low for engineering).

    (11) Pay
    DOE - Shop wages range from $30k - $50k base + profit sharing which ranges from zero for lack luster performing employee to 30% for someone consistently working their butt off for a customer. Plus 401k (3-5 percent guaranteed).


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