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Tough situation

Carriage House employees meet

April 1, 2014

It was a meeting that none of the more than 50 people attending wished was necessar....

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Apr-01-14 10:14 PM

Concerned, they need to go in a 401K plan like everyone else has. I have no money left to put in my own retirement because I am forced to make up for the shortfall in their pension plans. Why does the taxpayers assume all the risk on these pensions. We can't afford it. They will put us all in the poor house if they are allowed. ConAgra is nothing compared to the cold heartedness within the public sector unions and this is the reality that needs to be exposed. In reality, it was the public union demands that helped force ConAgra to make a wise business decision and relocate where this albatross is not hanging around their neck.

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Apr-01-14 10:06 PM

DKexpat, I understand what you are saying and my empathy goes out to those people. That being said, there is so much anger in this area because the political powers continue to let the people down. Even after the announcement of the closing of CH, raises were handed out in less than a week at the County legislator meeting. People in the private sector I literally being oppressed here and the powers at be are ignoring it. The private sector is struggling while the majority of the public sector is spared any pain whatsoever. The county home was closed and now they are handing out raises. This movie has gotten so old and people are reaching their breaking points. I have already put in motion a plan to leave this area. I can't stay here. I can't take it anymore.

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Apr-01-14 9:53 PM

The solution to our problems need to come from the state forced consolidations of all government services and municipalities, no unfunded mandates, welfare reform, tax cuts. The state also needs to get out of the pension business give the money to the unions these employees love so much and let them handle it bet their faith in their union would change real fast!

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Apr-01-14 9:44 PM

This entire meeting was nothing other than political lip service> They have absolutely no say or control over what ConAgra does with the building or equipment. This is simply a political show to try to fool voters into thinking they are on top of the situation. What a joke these morons are!

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Apr-01-14 9:25 PM

I think the larger point here is that hundreds of your neighbors, friends, customers, renters, and taxpayers have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

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Apr-01-14 7:26 PM

I apologize, I was incorrect, the increase will not go to 18% until next year for the NY State Teachers Pensions.

"School districts across the state are bracing for the impact of a major increase in costs for teacher pensions".

"The state’s districts have been told that their contribution rate to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System will be between 15.5 and 16.5 percent of a teacher’s salary for 2013-14 -- up from 11.84 percent this year".

"And it’s expected to increase again for 2014-15".

"State law requires school districts to pay a certain percentage of an employee’s salary to the pension program".

Good luck funding this monster! If the stock market corrects, which it will, the situation will only worsen.

How come news like this is never reported and a person needs to dig to find it? The public unions are powerful.

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Apr-01-14 5:59 PM

How dare they take their equipment. Where do they think they are, in America?

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Apr-01-14 5:57 PM

Christopher; I would love to use my real name if I thought that the pro-union extremists would not resort to their ultimate resource: physical violence.

If I used my real name in Dunkirk; I would expect my children to suffer at the hands of the teachers union, my wife abused by the community, my house and belongings to be damaged or destroyed, and I would not expect any protection from the union police force. If you don’t believe that those are real possibilities, you either haven’t lived in Dunkirk very long, or you have a short memory.

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Apr-01-14 5:21 PM

I guess Christopher you just don't get it. The Dunkirk plant is set up to make salad dressing and related items. Start up costs would be out the roof and you know very well Con Ag is going to take the equipment they need. We are so far North that trucking ingredients from down South has gotten more expensive with the price of oil. Unfortunately if you listened carefully to Cuomo's no tax for 10 years applies only to certain areas of NYS.

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Apr-01-14 5:06 PM

Why are these people attending meetings when they should be looking for jobs? Are they lazy or something?

Sincerely, the Tea Party and other ignorant GOP'ers

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Apr-01-14 4:38 PM

Frb002, yes it is very serious. Why has not the NY state teachers union increase on the taxpayers receiving the same kind of press. Before the great recession, 12% of a teachers salary was contributed by the taxpayer into the pension fund. If a teacher was making 100K, 12K was contributed to the pension fund. That now has risen to 18%, or that same 100K salary now has 18K going into the pension fund. That is a 50% increase. How many people even know?

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Apr-01-14 4:09 PM

Every firm that has left this area or closed since the mid 1980s has either sold off or auctioned off or taken their equipment with them. Roblin Steel was a bankruptcy, so that was bid out but does anyone remember that equipment being sold to china and the controversy of the Chinese coming here to dismantle it?

We have the highest taxes in the nation, a government that is not aggressive in terms of securing more employment for the population, this hasn't happened in decades and now or I should say again, we are at the mercy of national corporations, who look just at the bottom. Sad, very sad and very serious

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Apr-01-14 3:53 PM

The Bible says that we live in tough times made worse by UNGODLY PEOPLE.These EMPTY HEADS (col 2:8)are in DARKNESS MENTALY (eph 4:17-19).History shows God will act. - The Flood of Noahs Day proves it.Salvation is by God!

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Apr-01-14 3:05 PM

Wow, Christopher is more butthurt today then normal. He can use a vague name, but it's not ok for anybody else. I already explained why I don't use my real name, but that wasn't enough for you, was it. Yes, EVERYBODY that does not agree with your every viewpoint, hang on your every syllable is a troll, and has no idea what they're talking about. Get over your smug, self-absorbed attitude. Honestly.

Anyway, it really ***** for CH, but the company has to maintain its profitability. How would you like your retirement compromised so a less-than-optimal plan could be used longer?

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Apr-01-14 1:00 PM

The right to post your name or a screen name is an individual right. I know Obama is trying to make this a Socialist or Communist Country but it's not there yet.

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Apr-01-14 10:17 AM

Mathias,It could be any company, it just so happens to be ConAgra at the moment. The Corporations are forced to make these moves and the News put on the streets is that its the "MEAN Corporations". We get these tactics largely from Politicians who in their own self serving intersts fail to recognize the reaction to their policies.They Then get out in front of a crowd, press conference, and say they will do all they can to try and save the closings from happening when in reality...they should have done this decades ago before raising their tax burdens to unsound levels or restricting their abilities to do business by regulations.I ask all of you to break this situation down to a personal a car in a State that has a 11 or even 15% sales tax or in a State that has 7%?? Oh and by the way,You must then pay for Inspections,Environmental fines,Insurance,and Registration. This is a crude analogy but i think we are all ( or Should be ) smart enough to aply the lesson.

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Apr-01-14 10:12 AM

MathiasJ, what is your point. This would have happened anyone. The problem is government and until this truth is ackowledged nothing is going to change. Untamed said it well and apparently he has experience in this area. The democrats have become business killers, its that simple. I can't wait to leave here.

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Apr-01-14 10:01 AM

I have personaly helped Automate several facilities throughout the US who have chosen to do so cutting jobs and overhead to cope with the burdens of doing business.The burdens come in many forms but they need to be removed evry last one as well as the parties responsible for their implementation. I feel for the area having grown up in the region and still have several good friends and family in the area, some working at Carriage House. Western NY is just a small community that seems to never get a fighting chance because of the larger cities throughout NY state competing for their business. Eventually the doom will reach their door steps as it sweeps across the entire state. Our slogan incorporates a plan to combate the States abilities to reduce any corporation seeking to do business to rubble. "Automate not Legislate" a Company for better profits and long term success.

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Apr-01-14 9:48 AM

First and Foremost. ConAgra did not start the KY expansion, Ralcorp did and didn't get to see it through because of the hostile takeover by ConAgra( bully style) The same is true of the very large cookie plant in WI that Ralcorp had already moved the top cookie lines to... their MO. Further, ConAgra can and will strip the plant of all new equipment that is useful to them and auction the rest leaving an empty building because that is exactly what they did with Petri's. It is now a storage facility with no employees!!!!

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Apr-01-14 9:47 AM

Currently seeing this same situation throughout several US states and amongst several large corporations.I have been in on numerous internal meetings and think tanks both from the Industry stand point and State.The number one reason we are experiencing these plant closings has basicly been reduced to Taxes and the ability to compete world wide with American products being at a huge disadvantage from the start. The wages of the employees were nearly last on the list due to Employers ability to control or negotiate these costs effectively. When it comes to the amount of taxes,Fines and restrictions these corporations see because of the(in almost every case) Democratic Governments requiring more and more from these corporations to support inner city programs or welfare State Politics, who loses? the People EVERY time. Not a third, half or three quarters,it is EVERY time. Harry Reed is blowing smoke and he knows it, he is powerless in keeping ConAgra in Western N.Y. and he knows it.

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Apr-01-14 9:46 AM

Mr. Julian, your comment is an extremely intelligent response. You should hire your services out as a consultant to this group.

Of course, the disease still remains. Unless, this county gets honest with itself, the inevitable will happen. Just like Detroit, bankruptcy will become commonplace. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unless a discovery is made to get blood out of a stone, this area is doomed.

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Apr-01-14 9:04 AM

The point is that with quality leadership an employee buyout can provide a future for the facility and it's employees. They already have a well established product line and well trained and dedicated employees. The question is are the leaders there and are they willing to take the risk and invest their personal money in the business. AL Tech proved that it can be done.

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Apr-01-14 9:00 AM

Allow me to take the readers back to 1976. Allegheny Ludlum was losing money at their bar division located at Dunkirk and Watervliet, New York. The business was put on the market but there were no bidders so the only option was to close the plants affecting over 1000 employees. At that point a group of 35 employees headed by Dr. Adolph Lena, put together a plan to purchase the facilities. The plan succeeded and from 1976 thru 1982 the business enjoyed generous profits, jobs were saved and all employees benefited from a wonderful profit sharing plan. In 1982 a Canadian rail company named GATX was advised to invest in the steel business. The board of directors at AL Tech recognized that they needed a substantial investment for equipment and modernization decided to sell to the GATX Corporation. Five years later GATX sold the company to SAMMI Corp. of Korea and to this day the company survives as a subsidiary of Universal Stainless in Bridgeville, Pa. The point of this story is (con't)

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Apr-01-14 8:30 AM

Yes what a mess--bottom line--If this turns out to be 1000 jobs lost total with LakeShore possible closing --let figure 1000 jobs x a average wage of $20.000 total over all average--That's $20 Million dollars lost to the people and the area--Now That's problem----!!!! Wake up BIG PEOPLE

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Apr-01-14 8:27 AM

One more thing, I hope the people do not take to heart on this non-sense of ConArga being the villain. This move was already set to take place before ConAgra purchased the property. The real villain is the state of NY and the local governments with all the access government involved in peoples and businesses lives. People are tired of it and many are moving on so they can get on with their lives. It has just become immpossible to live here or run a business here.

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