By Molly • 

Cascade down briefly, then talks resume

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Kathleen Blair

Parent company Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Q2 Earnings Conference Call is scheduled for tomorrow and there's a webcast to go with it. It will be interesting to see what they report this time.

The stock price is up a point, their leverage ratio is only 23%, and the PE Ratio of 44.78, shows strong investor confidence.

Their annual report for 2011 shows total revenues $3.4 billion, net income was $118 million, and 1 yr growth 2010 - 2011 of almost 100% in terms of income. Schnitzer acknowledged in April 2011 that they believe in Climate Change and expect it to affect operations.

The Q1 2012 levels also indicate payments for taxes and year-end bonuses. What did the they spend on Cascade Exec level bonuses? They expected operating income per ferrous ton to almost double 1Q12.

Schnitzer/Cascade are sitting very prettily.

They may decide what is best for business - behaving properly and renumerating their Union employees with a generous contract, or, they may attempt union busting/undermining and screw the local economy and many non-steel jobs in McMinnville. Actions speak louder than words.

garr55

While Cascade is making a lot of cash.lets mess with the workers that have busted their back to get them there.What ever did happen to the usa when the company took pride in taking care of their employees.Such a dieing breed in this country and this is a perfect example.GREED is a selfish and that indeed well bring us all to our knees.Cascade Steel set the example and show america that you care and stop being the bottom line.This company is not seeing red but black the more you give the more you will get out of your employees. Seek the lord as ask yourself,IS THIS IS WHAT HE WOULD DO?

Kona



Kathleen Blair and garr55,

Where are you getting your information? Why disseminate false information?

Cascade (Schnitzer's Steel Manufacturing business) had a loss in the last quarter of $868,000 which was better than their loss of $2,746,000 in the one year ago quarter.

Cascade Steel is a relatively very small part (less than 10 percent) of Schnitzer Steel.

Kona

This is the link for the above information:

http://www.schnitzersteel.com/news_releases.aspx?ReleaseID=1680520&Category=NA&ArchiveStatus=Current

Obie

And Cascade steel posts another quarter of losses yet the union pushes for pay increases...sad but it sounds like the union is gonna push this too far and end up just closing the plant. Would be horrible for the local economy...THANKS UNION!!!

just me

if you would have listened to the earnings call, you would have heard them report that steel manufacturing was flat and part of it was due to december maintinance down time. also, there have been a couple lengthy mechanical breakdowns that have cost us production time because of what is known as "lean manufacturing". they dont keep parts in the store room to replace everything and it costs money to overnight ship parts from anywhere. schnitzer has also been doing capital improvements in different areas of the mill so that would also drop profits. we are also one of few companies that purchase our raw material from our parent company and can not negotiate the prices so if someone were to really dig into the books i feel they would find other money being hidden in this manner. so with improvements in some equipment, new equipment, maintinance, and mechanical breakdowns, it would show a loss. if you look at the manufacturing numbers, price per finished ton was up as well as amount of finished product was also up. so it is not the unions fault for the loss.

Kona



just me,

What you are explaining is part of every business. There are always costs for maintenance. The problem here is that all of the union people are exaggerating the situation, or making things up. It is important to present an accurate picture if the union expects to get any sympathy from the public. Very few people are union employees anymore. Only about 7 percent of the private sector workforce is union shop. The primary reason is that union demands do not fit the marketplace anymore. What business would want to function with union employees? Every union post on this forum has stated what a terrible place/business that Cascade Rolling Mills is for work. At some point this union behavior/attitude gets very old for employers. That is why there are so few union businesses left. The attitude is to fight the business rather than cooperate with the business.

just me

Kona, yes there are always costs, but they also cut into profit, the company has spent money upgrading computers and buying new equipment. if a company makes $800,000, and spends over a million, then it would be showing a loss. the union has no control over the cost of any of that, or lack of parts. if you think you can go in and run the arc furnace with no experience and make proper grade steel guess again, there is knowledge and the physical effort, ideas that we have that improve the process. i dont know how you treat your workers that are willing to come up with better ideas but i bet if you just take them and not thank them in any way they dont like it. our company president jeff dyck received 7817 shares of stock between july and november of 11, and sold 2533 shares from november of 10 to november of 11 for $133933. if you average the price of the three seperate sales for the received stock, that comes to $403200. add it up and he received $537133 worth of bonuses, if he were running a company that is hemoriging money as you seem to indicate why did he receive half a million in bonuses? i dont know what his base pay is because i cant find it online. here is the link for the stock sales, http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/schn/insiders?pid=48037. yes, we are luck to have a parent company that will front money for improvements, but, with some of the equipment and upgrades we may show a loss but production, that the union is doing, is increasing. they increase prices for transportation when fuel prices rise, and when scrap cost more, but all the workers in the community dont get that increase so the whole community suffers when there is less out there.

Kona



just me,

I am not taking a position whether, or not, Cascade employees deserve a raise in compensation. The problem I see is that everyone (the union employees commenting) are so eager to point out that Cascade is a terrible place to work and that management is the villain. I don't know why unions promote the adversarial relationship as much as they do, but they do. It is that attitude that has been so damaging for unions in the last few decades. It is why union membership is at an all-time low as a percentage of the workforce.

I don't think anyone is "blaming" the union employees for the lackluster results. The market for the products is the problem, just as with most businesses now. The medical insurance is for the benefit of the employees. Why should the company (Cascade) eat the increases in the insurance costs? It sounds like the employees are in agreement that Cascade should be saddled with the increased costs, rather than the employees who are the ones benefitting.

just me

kona, we do pay 10% of our premiums and every year it does go up, since 07, what i pay a year for my percent has increased over $800. in 07 i paid $1031.94 a year. in 12 i will be paying $1862.90. the company now wants us to pay 20% of premiums which would equate to $3725.80 for the year, then it goes up again next year. with no raise, how do i pay other bills that i have for living expense? do you understand where the whole community suffers because there is less money out in the commuity, according to a website i found, a living wage for this area is $30.54 an hour, according to our pay scale in the last contract, no one in the union makes that kind of money. i will post the link as proof. the last few raises we have received have been eaten up by our medical insurance. if it were not for the union negotiating for these benefits, it would be even worse and that is what the union is trying to avoid. its not like we want $5.00 an hour more and everything free. just to be treated fairly. from 05 to 08 production workers got no raises and had to pay for insurance, in april of 08 we received 3.5% and again in 09 the same, in 10 we offered to extend for a year and not take the raise until the extension kicked in and that was the same amount. but no matter what we offered, our benefits continued to go up. in my opinion, we would be out there working double shifts, with less safety oversite, in worse conditions for a third less money and paying more for insurance. so the union has done alot of good and great things for us out there. here is the link i referred to earlier. http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/counties/41071 .

just me

oh ya, i forgot to also state that my 3.5% raise got me $1456 dollars more for the year, ( based on a 40 hour week, worked at a 52 weeks). that breaks down to $56 every two weeks and our insurance is now at $71.65 every two weeks. so in essence, we are going backwards in wages. it we accepted a pay freeze and double our premium thats even worse, agreed? so even our HUGE 3.5% raise doesnt keep up with inflation.

Kona



just me,

1) That "living wage" that you found is completely bogus. That is $61,080 per year. What do you call a "living wage"?

2) Your medical insurance payment of $3,725.80 is pretty small compared to the $14,914 that Cascade pays for your insurance. You should feel very fortunate to have that much paid for your insurance.

3) You are being treated very fairly, but the union has convinced you otherwise.

DM

"we do pay 10% of our premiums and every year it does go up, since 07, what i pay a year for my percent has increased over $800."

This also means the company had had their contribution increase by over $8300 per employee in the same timeframe. Insurance is becoming unsustainable for both employees and employers. Take the $8300 and multiply by the number of union workers you have...how much more is the company shelling out just to cover healthcare benefits?

10% is also a very low number for an employee contribution. (unless you're a government worker.)

just me

and just how much do you think a living wage is? what ever it is, in my opinion i think its bogus, at least i can site where i get the numbers from not just say it and think its so. since i have not had need to use my insurance in over five years, why cant i get a reduction in rates like auto insurance? hummm? as far as what i pay, i have a budget that is based on my wages, when more is taken away, where does the differance come from? the local economy suffers if there is no overtime available, and if there is then the relationship with family suffers. i have to drive a 15 year old truck because with other living expenses i cant afford a new fuel effeciant car payment. i challange you to have a mortgage, pay taxes and have a credit card, raise two teenagers with no second income, have your benefits double and then save for retirement and try to help your kids get ready for college, and have a car payment on a fourty thousand dollar a year salary. it breaks down to $1540 every two weeks before taxes. do the math and let me know what you could afford. in my opinion, people work to live, not live to work. after all the deductions from that $1540, you will have roughly $1200, give or take a little, to live on. that isnt living now is it?
is it fair that to make it to said living wage mentioned in your post, i have to work six days a week, 12 hours a day almost all summer and miss out on time with my family just so im closer to a living wage? another 3.5% raise and im still $20,000 short of that wage. do the math before you say its fair, oh ya, move out of mommys basement and pay your own bills.

just me

dm, all we have to base what we pay is what the company says, i have never seen proof on paper other than a post from the company that says its going up. so there is a little bit of a trust issue. there is no need for any company to be paying this price for insurance, but cascade wont shop around and look for anything better either benefit or cost wise. besides, when i was hired on medical was part of the wage package, so if they want to give me what they pay for my insurance im sure i could find it for less on my own. as far as government workers, the only ones that should be exempt from paying for this for their families are our troops, both past and present and disabled.

just me

when the cost of insurance is broken down from 26 payments to a 12 month cycle it averages $1552.42 a month per member and family. if you look at ehealthinsurance.com they have plans from roughly $119 all the way to $890 a month. the most expensive plan there is still $560 a month cheaper with a 0 deductable and a $25 doctor visit fee. these are the numbers that would apply to my family, other families plans would vary so why does cascade pay almost $600 a month more? no one knows. as far as wages, even the state of oregon gave minimum wage earners a 3.77% increase the first of the year ( http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/2008_Minimum_Wage.shtml ) and go to the link for 2012 press release for minimum wage as proof.

Kona



just me,

I wish you luck in the negotiations.

I still don't know how you came up with "Cascade made roughly $9 million profit in the last year",

Kona



just me,

You probably need to look for a different job. You have explained in about every way possible how awful it is to work at Cascade Steel.

just me

it was a math mistake kona, if you look at the reports in the last eight quarters we have been profitable in five of the eight. i made a mistake and didnt double check before typing, it should have been 6 mill roughly, and if they didnt make profit, why do i have check stubs that show they paid us profit sharing? as i said about todays report, we were in the red due to down time, capital expenditures and parts issues, primarily. as far as looking for another job, i know the hazards out there and accept them. i was just letting people know what is out there if they have never been inside. all i ask for is a fair wage package that reflects the knowledge of 15 years of experiance. i dont walk in to your business and tell you how to run it or what to pay your people, so im still trying to understand how you can tell us what is fair and what isn't. i dont know if you read the post about the insurance but if we are only paying 10% why is it i can find insurance that is almost the same, lower deductable and co-pays for over $600 less. maybe they could pay us the 100% and ill buy my own and pocket the almost $8000 differance. im just saying what the numbers say. i appologize for my mis-type on the profit. if you feel you need to see my numbers, let me know and maybe we can set something up so you can see the math.

DM

"all we have to base what we pay is what the company says, i have never seen proof on paper other than a post from the company that says its going up. so there is a little bit of a trust issue." If you pay 10% and the company picks up the rest it's obviously in your union contract. If you have a trust issue ask your shop steward or business agent or go ahead and file a grievance. Don't throw out the company is evil and I don't trust them card. Your healthcare benefits are a large part of what is negotiated. If you want more money in your pocket and a lesser healthcare plan take it up with your union leaders. We went through the same thing where I work last year. We offered the union two choices...a lesser plan and more in pocket or their cadillac plan with less take home....the union picked the cadillac plan. We didn't care either way.

I have to agree with Kona, you obviously don't like where you work and are miserable so my advice to you would be to go elsewhere where you will be happy. Life is too short.

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