Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Occupy Your Mind

I have learned that there are some subjects about which one cannot say everything that needs saying in one or even more than one blog post.  And this one just proves the point, it is a follow-up to the Save Our Shipyard (SOS) and Occupy Avondale discussions.

In the earlier posts, I referred to Northrup Grumann as the owner/operator of Avondale.  That was a matter of convenience and a bit of shorthand.  To be sure, it is an accurate enough identification, and the most widely understood by everyone in the community.  However, the actual legal lineage of corporate maneuvering in this matter is rather more nauseatingly mind numbing.  I will visit it here, at least briefly, just to make a point.

For most of its long history, Avondale was an independent shipyard.  In more recent times, it was acquired by Litton Industries.  During our union organizing campaign in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was sold to Northrup Grumann.  This sale caused it to be combined with Grumman's Ingalls yard in Pascagoula, MS.  In 2010, Grumann decided to shut-down shipbuilding operations, and subsequently "spun-off" Avondale's operation to Huntington Industries.  Now, Huntington operates Avondale and Ingalls, but they maintain a separate corporate identity for each.  I warned you this was tedious.  But we will leave it now to get to the punch line.

You can see that there are a lot corporate pockets to fill here.  And if we let them shut-down Avondale as a shipyard, we are going to fill them.  That's right, not only will we lose 9,000 jobs, but the Navy will have to cough-up at least 271 million dollars just to offset the cost of closing.  It is a corporate bail-out of the first order, and we are manning the buckets once again.  Occupy your mind with that.

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