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Old 06-09-2015, 22:05   #31
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
I'll bet Stephan Lance would get a hearty chuckle out of that one... ;-)

Hell, I'm not sure they could even exhibit at a boat show with only 5 employees...

Have you ever actually been to the store in Waterford?

As usual, there appears to be more than one side to this story...

The Day - Defender Industries plans Waterford expansion - News from southeastern Connecticut
I'm not talking about the store.. just the online presence.

Can't speak for Defender but most retailers, except clothing retailers, see the majority of their sales growth through online sales. Physical store year over year sales are generally stagnant or decreasing while online sales are booming.. for example Target is up 30% in their online sales in 2015, while there is a huge decline in retail store foot traffic across the board.

Online sales utilizing a very small staff (and lets face it if Defender has below a couple hundred employees- they are small) and outsourcing services to other companies that specialize in those services is the only way certain companies will stay in business. Unions are only hastening this conversion.

Any one of those same union employees could start up their own online business and probably make as much as the union is trying to get ($15 an hour). For some reason, they choose to work for someone else instead of being entrepreneurial.

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Originally Posted by Jman View Post
China would be impractical, at least for US shipments, both in terms of time and money.
Not really... Alibaba is a Chinese company owned by a gentleman named Jack Ma. Kind of line a Chinese Amazon. This company made him the 18th richest person in the world in just about 5 years. I ordered several engine parts for my boat from his company last year. They were 1/2 the price of what I found in the US and included 2 day shipping from China. Within one hour of placing an order from them I also ordered some stuff from Defender. I tracked my delivery from China to California to Florida and it arrived in 2 days... 3 days later by Defender order came in. My parts were perfect and direct from the factory that makes them for Mitsubishi.
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Old 06-09-2015, 22:11   #32
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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I do not think you understand unions or business at all in the USA.
You are offered a job at a wage. You either take the job at that wage, or move on. People are taking the job, so they must want to be paid that wage. Sure they want more, and are greedy, but when the answer is "your wage is your wage" move on to another job if thats an issue.

Unions help unions. They take money from the workers, and give it to politicians. They deduct it directly from your paycheck, so you cannot say no. You cannot even work there without joining. Thats not a help, that is a hobble. Unions have no place in this country anymore.
It's "The right to work for less" states.

In this country you are offered a job at a wage that can't pay for basic necessities. So no one takes it so the company says, "see, we need to outsource to China". Or "Whoops, are all our fruit pickets illegal immigrants? Well we offered minimum wage but nobody took it, America has to eat"
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Old 06-09-2015, 22:48   #33
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

MODERATOR NOTE:

This is an important issue for boat owners in North America, as it may well affect many projects on the go right now during hurricane season. Let's keep the discussion to the topic of how the strike may affect us, and Defender, and leave the social and political commentary alone.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:54   #34
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

Is this affecting their shipping?


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Old 07-09-2015, 09:45   #35
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

The union issue will be moot for the most part in a few decades. The bigger question comes when 50% or more of current jobs can/will be replaced by computers and robots; how do those displaced (when there are only enough jobs for 50% of the working age population) survive? Does everyone benefit from the robotic revolution or just some?
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:19   #36
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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The union issue will be moot for the most part in a few decades. The bigger question comes when 50% or more of current jobs can/will be replaced by computers and robots; how do those displaced (when there are only enough jobs for 50% of the working age population) survive? Does everyone benefit from the robotic revolution or just some?

The smart employee would learn to fix robots. After awhile you can be tech support for the robots and work from your boat.


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Old 07-09-2015, 11:20   #37
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

Does anyone know if they are still shipping or is everything on hold?


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Old 07-09-2015, 11:28   #38
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

That explains why I got two Zodiac RIBs, when I only ordered one....
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Old 07-09-2015, 14:42   #39
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
The only way that happens is with a Union. In every other case the employee has no legal standing of consequence.
I don't think that is correct.

So in the US, if a company pays less than the minimum wages, the employee has no recourse?

If they don't pay overtime to an hourly worker after 40 hours a week, the worker has no recourse?

Union or not doesn't make a difference. If a lawyer wasn't interested in this, I'm sure some level of the government would be.

FWIW, a state being "right to work" means that joining the union, if there is one, is voluntary. An employee can't be forced to join -- and pay dues to --the union if he doesn't want to.
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Old 07-09-2015, 16:52   #40
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Not really... Alibaba is a Chinese company owned by a gentleman named Jack Ma. Kind of line a Chinese Amazon. This company made him the 18th richest person in the world in just about 5 years. I ordered several engine parts for my boat from his company last year. They were 1/2 the price of what I found in the US and included 2 day shipping from China. Within one hour of placing an order from them I also ordered some stuff from Defender. I tracked my delivery from China to California to Florida and it arrived in 2 days... 3 days later by Defender order came in. My parts were perfect and direct from the factory that makes them for Mitsubishi.
Hmmm, do you suppose you'd have similar luck with having an inflatable, or outboard motor, shipped from China?

;-)

Defender is the largest dealer of Zodiacs in the entire world... with good reason, and a bit of doing things the Old-Fashoned Way, it would appear:

Quote:
Lance attributes Defender's success to many things, starting with investing heavily in inventory to have a broad range of multiple brands & models on hand for immediate delivery. "In contrast to many marine equipment suppliers who offer only a limited selection" Lance said, "Defender has over 2,000 boats & motors in stock year-round to accommodate the preferences and needs of our diverse customers, who include not only recreational boaters but also recreational fishing, tubing and dive users, various commercial, marina and yacht club users, film crews and competitive teams. Defender also provides boats and motors to a long list of First Responder and Military Agencies, including the NYPD, Army, Navy, U.S. Department of State, hundreds of Fire Departments across the country, and to international emergency response Teams, such as a recent order for 40 boats for the Philippine Coast Guard."


In addition, Defender stocks seven lines of outboard motors including Evinrude, Honda, Mercury, Tohatsu, Yamaha, LEHR propane powered motors and Torqeedo electric powered motors. Defender has the most comprehensive inventory of replacement parts and unique accessories for inflatable boats, some designed by and built specifically for Defender & available nowhere else.


"We also support the full breadth of inventory with a top notch sales and highest-level technical team," Lance added. "Being trained in sales and service as an authorized dealer is only the beginning for Defender's staff, which is made up of boaters with many years of on-water experience to help our customers make an informed decision about the boat and motor package that best fits their needs."


Connecticut Business Named World's Largest Zodiac Dealer - tribunedigital-thecourant
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Old 07-09-2015, 17:04   #41
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

These guys really need to work a lot harder for a lot less so we can get our luxury items quicker for a few pennies less!
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Old 07-09-2015, 18:56   #42
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
Is this affecting their shipping?


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I ordered some racor filters from Defender on Saturday and just now (Monday PM) got a shipment confirmation email. Hopefully that indicates the strike is having little or no impact on their ability to ship parts.
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Old 07-09-2015, 19:08   #43
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Hmmm, do you suppose you'd have similar luck with having an inflatable, or outboard motor, shipped from China?

;-)

Defender is the largest dealer of Zodiacs in the entire world... with good reason, and a bit of doing things the Old-Fashoned Way, it would appear:
Not sure what your point is... Defender would still be in the Zodiac (or whatever) business since Zodiac has a US based manufacturing facility. However, instead of managing all the inventory, warehousing, staff, shipping... you just source that to amazon or you drop-ship using Amazon order management services. This is significantly less expensive than keeping dozens of staff on-hand and managing a giant warehouse full of outdated inventory.

If you really insist on running a storefront he may choose to keep in the store a much smaller inventory.

Alibaba and similar companies that are more agile and more efficient (and still provide excellent service to to cruisers/buyers worldwide) are rolling over retailers in a large number of vertical markets. To think that anyone would consider the marine industry is immune to these changes makes me cringe. Is there something special about the marine store that is any different than the autoparts store next door to it?

So, you expect Defender to survive under a heavy union hand AND at the same time see sales being chipped away by competition - and do this without changing?
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Old 07-09-2015, 20:02   #44
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

At a certain point, we have to realize it's not going to be a county of 300+ million "entrepreneurs"

Union or no Union; Seems pretty hard to imagine trying to live in the NE us on $11 an hour. I believe the cost to society (Medicaid, free school lunches, section 8) is higher than the "efficiencies" gained by outsourcing these jobs.

We're really in a race to the bottom and whilst the consultant class like to kick up their heel and say "just the way it is" VERY few will be immune from hitting bottom. Whether that be civil unrest, financial ruin, environmental ruin or some combination.

Hopefully in 2016 we can begin to more fully reckon with this reality.
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Old 07-09-2015, 21:46   #45
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Re: Defender warehouse workers on strike

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
and strikers encouraged customers to go to a West Marine outlet instead.




The complaints revolve around a policy that they say is too restrictive, leading to good workers being disciplined for minor mistakes — even if those errors don't make it out of the warehouse. Errors are compiled every time they happen and can only be wiped out by six months of mistake-free work, workers said.


Go go West Marine?! That's more of a punishment than being helpful.

If an employee can't make less than 6 errors a year, then he should be let go. I work in the Aerospace sector. One mistake out the door and it has catastrophic consequences.
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