It is reassuring to see the union that disrupted the operations at AGY has realized that the changes being made are both contemporary and needed. AGY must also be applauded for holding firm on the changes versus acquiescing to outdated union demands.

The changes put forth by AGY represent improved and more current business policies and procedures, modifying several outdated practices that had been perpetuated by the union organization.

The changes now correctly place primary emphasis on performance, production and productivity, rather than just seniority based on the outdated “being alive at 5” philosophy.

Seniority will still be considered, where appropriate, but satisfactory individual and team performance must now be demonstrated for advancement and reward. This is not an unreasonable expectation by the company that pays the wages and provides benefits to employees.

The recent furloughs are unfortunate, but were very predictable by anyone who has worked in a manufacturing environment.

Simply put, loss of production due to workers not being on the job equals reduced revenue. Reduced revenue then necessitates getting back “up to speed” in a cost effective manner once work commences again and orders increase. And let’s hope that the returning workers will embrace the new policies and procedures and get production back up so that their furloughed colleagues can return as soon as possible.

So, kudos to AGY for insisting on more contemporary practices to remain competitive and to be able to employee individuals. And kudos to the union for recognizing a more reasonable performance based approach and getting their members back to work. A win-win for all.

Mike DeBruhl