Let's assume you loaned me $2,000 last January and I promised to pay you back $2,000 plus interest this December 31st.
You knew I was good for it because I had a good job with with Ford Motor Co.
It's now December, I need to pay you back in a couple of weeks but instead I call you up to say, Hey Joe, look I had a bad year this year, can you loan me another $1,000 and I'll pay you back $3,000 plus interest next December.
Do you do it? Especially knowing that my job at Ford is probably in jeopardy and given that I couldn't pay you back $2,000 when times were "good"?
Well, if you are a worker at Republic Windows and Doors, they'd expect you to do it.
The company, which has been in business since 1965, told employees Wednesday that its main lender, Bank of America, had canceled its line of credit due to a severe downturn in business at the plant.
At the high point of the residential construction market, product sales to home builders totaled $30 million at the company. This year, those sales will total $6 million, said Amy Zimmerman, vice president of sales and marketing. Sales of replacement windows will total $38 million this year, down from $40 million.
"Banks are in the business to make money and at some point they have to make a business decision and that's what this is," Zimmerman said. "Certainly the new construction segment didn't help. If the bank saw some type of light at the end of the tunnel, maybe the bank would have extended a line of credit to Republic."
The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, which represents 260 workers at the factory, is protesting the closing, saying workers were not given the 60 days' notice of a mass layoff as required by federal law, and has been told workers will not receive their vacation pay. The union is directing its ire at Bank of America, not Republic.
So it's the bank's fault that Republic's business sucks? The bank is supposed to loan money to a company who's sales have dropped from $70 million to $44 million? They're supposed to loan a company money to pay out to its employees knowing it won't be paid back?
Of course, The Messiah has the same intuitive business sense of the workers.
“When you have a financial system that is shaky, credit contracts. Businesses large and small start cutting back on their plants and equipment and their workforces. That’s why it’s so important for us to maintain a strong financial system. But it’s also important for us to make sure that the plans and programs that we design aren’t just targeted at maintaining the solvency of banks, but they are designed to get money out the doors and to help people on Main Street.
Yo B. I hate let you in on a secret, but this whole financial mess started because banks loaned money to people who couldn't repay. And now you want them to go back to this system?
This morning, I heard the head of the union tell a reporter "This is not fair, all these employees have worked hard to make this company the success that it's is".
The one time I would have to agree with a union head.