Shuttered UTA plant no financial failure
I would appreciate very much you allowing a few lines of space to correct a Page 1 item in the Sept. 7 issue, ``UTA stuns rivals, wins huge GM contract.''
I am sure you published it innocently enough. In the article, there is reference to United Technologies Automotive shuttering the Bay City, Mich., trim plant. You quoted Daniel Nadolski from the United Steelworkers of America saying the plant has a history of not making money. His statement is grossly misleading.
The equipment and people in Bay City came in 1988 from the old Linwood plant in Linwood, Mich. That plant had a long-term history of profitability. After the move to the new Bay Valley facility, the plant broke even in 1989. The next four years, the plant was profitable. The fact is, in 1993 the plant was responsible for 10 percent of the division profit on 3 percent of the division sales.
How do I know? Obviously, I ran the facility during that time. There were, and probably still are, a lot of hard-working, competent, loyal people who busted their butts to make that happen. I don't know what the following years brought. I do know that a lot of people deserve a different reputation than that offered by Mr. Nadolski.
Thank you for allowing me to set the record straight.
Some factors offset recycling concerns
When it comes to recycling, Plastics News doesn't get it, again.
In your Sept. 21 Viewpoint, ``Creative packagers should `think green,''' you commend food packagers for developing novel packaging, such as single-serve milk containers that are helping to drive up milk sales; high-end, high-barrier films that extend the shelf life of various meats and breads; and plastic beer bottles.
Increasing product sales and preserving product life sound like basic, fundamental packaging objectives to me.
Then Plastics News counsels, ``Food packagers should keep up the good work [of developing innovative, convenience packaging]. But, in the environmental sense, they also should borrow a page from the medical profession, and vow to ``First, do no harm.''
When consumers are convenienced, shelf life is increased, food waste is reduced, the cost of transportation is lowered, package breakage (with related food spoilage and personal injury) is virtually eliminated and the waste stream is minimized by source-reduced, multilayer packages that are more efficient than traditional materials in their manufacture, use and disposal, it is short-sighted and devoid of understanding integrated waste management and design for the environment to suggest that the novel packages ``first do harm.''
``Design for environment'' and ``think green'' do not mean ``design first for recycling regardless of other factors.''
Really, Plastics News, do you think any of the products mentioned above or we consumers would be better, more safely, or less expensively served had the novel packages been made from more-easily recyclable glass, metal or paper? Really?
George A. Makrauer
ComAd Management Group Inc.
Treasure Island, Fla.