flanging 87

In December of 2002 Enerfab Corporation bought Brighton from Trinity.  Here is their logo:

enerfab-whitebackground

And here is a google maps screen shot of their plant in Cincinnati on Spring Grove Avenue:

enerfab-google-maps-screen-shot

 

Here is a close-up of the yard just outside, and the entrance to, the part of the complex where the head shop was located:

 

enerfab-google-maps-screen-shot-closeup

This turned out to be a very good thing, Enerfab buying Brighton from Trinity.  But at the time it didn’t seem like it.  I had just turned 51, I had worked at Brighton for nearly 30 years, and I was starting over again.  Sort of.  It was complicated.  When Trinity bought Brighton, they bought us with our contract intact, only with the provision we accept a dollar an hour pay cut.  But Enerfab wasn’t requiring a pay cut, we would continue making our same wages.  But we had to accept their contract.  Which was with the Boilermakers Union.  Here is their logo:

boilermakers-logo

 

Since Enerfab already had a contract with the Boilermakers Union, they could not, or would not, I don’t know which, sign a separate contract with our Steelworkers Union.  And since Enerfab wasn’t recognizing our Steelworkers contract, they didn’t have to hire our entire work force.  They could pick and choose who they wanted.  They initially hired about half of us.  They later hired more of the employees who weren’t initially hired, but at first they were interested mostly in flanger operators and press operators and welders.

Enerfab did this in an honorable fashion.  We were new hires.  Nothing could help that. Every person already working for Enerfab had more seniority than any of us.  But our plant supervisor Mark L. called us into the office one by one according to the seniority we held at Brighton.  He explained what was going on, that there would be a rough time of transition, but we would be doing the same jobs we’d always done, for the same pay.  And our seniority among the Brighton employees would be maintained.  So that if I agreed to the arrangement, I would have the same seniority rights among the Brighton employees I’d always had.  That meant I’d have more seniority than all the Brighton flanger operators who signed after me.  We weren’t all being rehired by Enerfab as one massive group.  It sounds more complicated than it actually was.  Of course, if I decided not to sign on with Enerfab, I would be laid off.  So it was a no-brainer for me.  I signed on with Enerfab.  As I said before, it turned out to be the best situation I could have fallen into.  Trinity could have shut us down, or moved the machines to Mexico.  Either way I would have been out of a job.  This way I could continue doing the work I’d always done, at the pay I was accustomed to.

Of course, for the people not immediately offered a job with Enerfab, this wasn’t such a good thing.  And there were people who didn’t accept the jobs they were offered.  Harold P., a press operator, declined and took an early retirement.  While Ron H., a flanger operator, refused and quit working.  But he was back 6 months later.  He couldn’t find anything better.  But nearly everybody who was offered a job with Enerfab accepted.

So, as of December of 2002, I was employed by Enerfab.  At the time it was unsettling, but eventually I came to realize how good it had all worked out.

 

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