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RE: CVX El Segundo Shuts FCC Maint for several weeks

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Charles Randall

I think I have to call “crazy” on this type of viewpoint. First place it gives most of Refining management way to much credit for malice of fore-thought while they are dealing with a financial crisis.
Second place Refining industry hasn’t raked in “Huge Profits” over the last few years – it is just stupid propaganda that Environmentalist, Anti-Industry types & Union leaders like to put out in order to justify their petty blame games. The numbers they keep using are “gross profits” which may be record levels given $Billion dollar levels markets are at, but when you look at the “net profit” values (ie when you pay $147/Bbl crude instead of $40/Bbl then the higher $15/Bbl profit vs. $5/Bbl profit didnt really take you anywhere) it is same 10-18% Retrun on Assets. This always put the Oil industries at the middle of Fortune Five hundred list of companies on profit basis & place them below the top 100 companies (in 2007 & 2008) …. all of which made between 33%-350% net profit compared to Oil’s 14% profit average. (It is why the industry is consolidating & passed the batton as economic leader on to the Computer/Technology industry.)  
This is same kind of reasoning of “US against THEM”  that Union leaders like to put out so it takes heat off the fact that they havent looked out for thier people in decades and are not likely to begin doing it now. <I sure hope all of you are voting against the check list membership instead of private voting for unions – it is just a way for them to strong arm people into joining a bad system.>  If unions really were looking out for you – they wouldn’t have let all the outsourcing go unchecked, they would do something about all the jobs lost to illegal aliens (especially with 8 million unemployed US workers while there are about 7 million illegal aliens holding jobs now) or stop H1 Visas for unneeded foreign green card workers at a time when qualified US workers are being shown the door.  I suggest you go look at what happened to the Union Steel Workers when the US Steel Industry collapsed – they lost all their retirement pay as +21 companies went bankrupt. The Union didnt watch out for the companies as China was allowed to import government subsidized steel & coke against US production until it was too late & then stood by and let Union workers retirement funds they paid into for 30 years get sucked into companies bankruptcy or be gobbled up by Lawyers picking over the bones of company for leagle fees…….so I would feel too sheltered by them if I were you.  
If your Union leaders are going for wage & benefit increases during the current economic crisis with companies going bankrupt daily – they are too stupid to be negotiating for you. The time to push for this type of increase has come and gone, it isnt a retroactive type of play; right now everyone needs to be thinking about a survival mode approach. They need to be working WITH management to come up with solutions. The companies have all run out of levers to pull or knobs to turn – if some of you get increases then a lot of others will be shown the door.
But I am hoping that this crisis will eleminate a lot of stupid management types who have blocked the move to increase wages, outsourced and looted the company – none of those types are going to do well when they have to come up with solutions. And as my old boss said – “when it is darkest then you can see the stars”. Simple truths seem to have a lot of layers and like a CS Lewis book so does this truth. When times are the worse (darkest) then the best companies/managers shine thru (stars).
I would say lot folks need to be looking to use great working skills for a new opportunity that is probably going to come out of this type of crisis – did you know one is born in most downturns?
-At end of severe 1873 recession Sterling Steel works opened first mill & kicked off the Industrial Revolution
-At end of Big Depression 1930’s Hewlet & Packerd (HP) opened their first plants & offices and created a whole new industrial sector
-At end of 1980 recession IBM CEO opened thier first computer plants and moved personal computers into business sectors for big shift to technology industry
-At end of 1996 recession …….. sorry drawing blank here on rest examples but you get point – when it is darkest the stars (best/newest companies) come out.
All of pundits predict that new people entering the workforce will work for at least 10-20 different companies with an average of less than 5 years each during thier worklife. Our new generation of workers are lot smarter than we were – they know you have to look out for yourself  first & not expect a company or a union to do it for you. Loyalty is a good thing but as with all trust – you need to verify that it really exist both ways.

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