"The Olin Corp. said Wednesday that it will put its money where its mouth is — in Mississippi.
A day after union workers rejected for a second time a contract that might have saved their jobs, the Metro East company told them it was moving about 1,000 ammunition production jobs from Metro East to Oxford, Miss.
As members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9 left the East Alton catering hall where the ballots were tallied Tuesday night, more than a few of the employees ventured that Olin was bluffing.
The company, they maintained, had no intention of following through on its threat to move their jobs. On Wednesday, Olin called their bluff by announcing that it would build a 500,000-square-foot facility when it moves its ammunitions operations.
According to an Olin news release, Mississippi provided 'significant incentives" to entice the manufacturer to expand production near a current Olin plant.
Joseph Rupp, the chairman, president and CEO of Clayton-based Olin, pointed the finger at the workers' failure to accept a contract that guaranteed seven years of job security in exchange for reductions in vacation time, an elimination of a matching company contribution to retirement plans and other incentives."
St. Louis is part of the old rust belt. At one time we had all kinds of high paying manufacturing jobs. We made cars, shoes, chemicals, steel and all sorts of other things. We were headquarters for many Fortune 500 companies. There was the Chrysler, Ford and Chevy plants. This is where the Corvette was built. We were second only to Detroit in auto production.
Well, the times have changed. Yet the unions act as though it's still the '50's and the good times are still rolling along. They demand and demand, even though the unemployment rate is near the levels of the '30's and the future keeps looking worse and worse.
They sell their members a bill of goods and after the jobs leave what does the union do? Nothin'. But the bosses, the guys that convinced their members that there is strength in numbers and if we just hold together we'll get more, well, they still have their jobs, anyway.
At least Olin kept the jobs here in America, I'll give them credit for that. And now, because of the union mentality, more guys are on the streets competing for fewer and fewer jobs. I'd venture to say that none of the guys that lose their job at Olin will ever find a job with comparable wages and benefits to replace them.
It ain't the '50's any more.