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No Loyalty Oaths

May 23, 1999

We all need to consciously resist succumbing to ideology, to checking our brains at the door, to adopting a position before the facts are in then swearing an oath to defend it.

I recently attended an industry meeting addressed by prominent industry figures, gentlemen whom I highly respect and whose company I greatly enjoy. But it does not enhance my pride in our industry to see a large part of the audience rallied into joining battle against OSHA Ergonomic Standards when they haven't yet the faintest idea of their contents, or to hear them sniggering along with the speaker about "tree huggers".

Honest laughter and good humor are a healthy remedy for what ails us. But sniggering is a mechanism that a mob uses to exert peer pressure. At the next industry meeting you attend, listen carefully to which one you're hearing; if it's sniggering, don't swear loyalty, steer the meeting in a better direction. Here's to your health.

Ted Mooney <mooney@finishing.com> Brick, NJ


Too Serious

Ted

I think the reaction you are seeing is to 25 years of off the wall, anti business legislation and media articles. They have taken the worst of our industry and other industries and made us villains. We are the polluters, environment destroyers of the industrial age. Better if we all go out of business!

The reaction is to what is perceived as persecution not regulation. And it may be an over reaction but I understand it. It gets the troops going and maybe someday legislation will become environmentally sound and business friendly.

Drew Nosti <gray1goose@usa.net> Reading Pa


Following Up
(I'm not trying to get in the last word, just encourage further participation)

Until the day when business is environmentally friendly, legislation that is "environmentally sound and business friendly" remains an elusive contradiction. And without tough regulations no finishing shop can remain competitive while becoming environmentally friendly. We've known since 1928 how unhealthy hex chrome is; without legislation, what has industry as a group done about it in 71 years? And what are we as a group doing about it today? Conducting pep rallies to raise money so lobbyists can influence legislators away from reducing operator exposure limits!

Just a couple of years ago I was in a plating shop where an article written by a well-known industry figure was taped to the bulletin board. Said article seriously asserted that the only chrome platers who got cancer were those who picked their noses! Talk about blaming the victim and ridiculing him into not coming forward.

Clearly it's possible for regulations to be off-the-wall and persecutory, as you say. So how do we strike the proper balance? Surely not by sniggering ourselves into shipping money to Washington to fight Ergomomic Standards sight unseen and to fight tightening up chrome exposure standards after seven decades of unhealthful worker exposure.

Ted Mooney <mooney@finishing.com> Brick, NJ


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