Although I am not personally familiar with all the facts surrounding the situation at Landis' plant in Solvay, N.Y., I'm not sure I agree with the conclusions of your Page 12, Oct. 14 editorial "Labor dispute hits industry reputation. The Viewpoint portrays Landis in an unflattering light, but everything I know about them indicates the opposite. They have been successful over a long period of time, and are one of the best-known and respected companies in our industry. The editorial's generalization from Landis' specific situation in Solvay to the entire plastics industry may be doing all of us a disservice. Furthermore, I feel uncomfortable basing conclusions on the possibly biased viewpoint of the New York Times. Your editorial seems a little short on information from Landis management. What is their viewpoint?
In my own dealings with Plastics News, I have always found you to be fair and accurate. I know that you will continue in the future to cover our industry in this even-handed way.
Martin R. Imbler, Berry Plastics Corp., Evansville, Ind.
As a longtime associate of the Landis organization, I am shocked that your newspaper would publish such a damaging editorial comment as the one contained in the Oct. 14 Viewpoint.
While it is fair play to report on any union or governmental activity in a given area, it seems to me that your editorial tries and convicts the Landis organization in the court of public opinion, without any weighing of the facts surrounding the allegations against the company.
Nor does your editorial balance any of the allegations against the contributions and positive impact the company has had within the industry. Landis Plastics has invested heavily over the years in expansion, which has led to employment growth in at least four areas of the country. They also invest heavily in equipment and supplies, which further spins off employment and economic benefit in many other areas. To suggest characterization of the company and its management as a ``renegade employer'' is very unfair.
Unionization of a company can sometimes be the source of heated battles between the two parties and whilst in progress, I believe a more appropriate press position would be not to indulge in slanted editorials until all the facts are known.
When you say that we can count on a wounded reputation for the industry, in my opinion, your newspaper is as much a source of the wound as anyone.
Jim Forrester, CBW Automation, Fort Collins, Colo.
I am responding to your editorial concerning Landis Plastics' labor dispute. I spent over 20 years competing with Landis. In all cases I found them to be honorable, honest and trust- worthy competitors. Landis man-agement has long been involved in all aspects of the crusade to better the image of the plastics industry through participation in many SPI activities.
You have taken the attitude that all of the allegations made by the union side are facts, and that Landis Plastics is somewhere between a poorly managed company and a renegade employer. Your editorial is based upon your own story of the week previous, that at the very least is incomplete and one-sided. You seem to have forgotten that in organizational efforts, both sides have a tendency to blow facts out of proportion. You have taken the attitude that an investigation is an indictment of wrongdoing.
I would suggest you will be put in the position of apologizing to Landis management when the OSHA investigation and the independent safety review are complete. I sincerely hope you will publish the final outcome.
You state that the reputation of the industry has been wounded. I submit that it is your own irresponsible editorial position that is doing the damage.
John L. Normandin, West Linn, Ore., Recycling awaiting, technology advances
Regarding your Page 1, Sept. 30 story, ``Plastics recycling: time for last rites?'' Much of the original clamor against plastics was stirred up in the late 1980s by graphically illustrated articles showing how plastic six-pack holders, pellets and bags were choking birds and animals, especially in marine environments.
There is little of this seen now, partly because of the use of degradable plastics and, of more importance, because the public is more conscious of the need to dispose of plastics properly.
Plastic in landfills is an issue primarily because of its spatial volume. Its weight is small vs. that of other landfill components. As a result, there is not enough mass of plastics waste even in large, populated areas to warrant building plants that would convert high-energy-content polymers or commingled plastics into fuel or useful chemicals.
Until there is a major technology breakthrough, plastics recycling has achieved its free-market steady state-an industry geared primarily to recycling clean materials that are processed easily and inexpensively within a greater municipal area. Legislation and corporate or government fiat mandating plastics recycling, in my opinion, has generally been ill-conceived and usually counterproductive.
Jeffrey R. Ellis, J.R. Ellis Technical and Economic Services, Newtown, Pa.
I am writing regarding Neil Milgram's Page 24, Oct. 7 Perspective, ``Searching for injection molder?''
Wachusett Molding Corp. has been a custom injection molder for more than 35 years and never had in-house mold-making capability. Our philosophy is straightforward: Let the molders focus on what they do best (injection mold) and the mold makers focus likewise (build tools).
To make in-house mold making one of the eight crucial points in selecting an injection molder sets those seeking only injection molders with in-house capability off in the wrong direction.
When custom injection molders build up years of business partnerships with mold makers ``relying on another business not under his control'' does not come into play. High-quality mold makers bend over backward to satisfy the needs of their customer base - the injection molder.
Richard H. Wheeler, Wachusett Molding Corp., West Boylston, Mass.