Fleetwood Rumours
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Steve Toms

Canada

#1 Sep 3, 2008
Is there any truth in the rumours that I am hearing that Fleetwood Enterprises are in serious financal problems and in danger of going out of business or will they file for chapter 11?
wendy craig

Pitt Meadows, Canada

#2 Sep 4, 2008
If you have heard the stories I have heard and seen some of the problems with their hi end RVs not suprizing. Dont feel sorry for the workers the product is poorly made. The bosses have got good pensions, so its the customers to feel sorry for if they go broke and its only time, watch!

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#3 Sep 5, 2008
wendy craig wrote:
If you have heard the stories I have heard and seen some of the problems with their hi end RVs not suprizing. Dont feel sorry for the workers the product is poorly made. The bosses have got good pensions, so its the customers to feel sorry for if they go broke and its only time, watch!
I'm surprised Fleetwood is still in business. You are absolutely right about RV's being poorly built. I should know. I worked at plant #42 for 12 years, where no one was able to get along, management treated the workers like dirt under their feet and using twisted knotted, bowed cheap wood. And you wouldn't believe some of the things we had to do to get these trailers looking pretty good to the customer. But the fact remains is the inferior products we used are still in these trailers. This plant had a really poor training program. But, what can you expect when some of the team leaders can't even built cabinets properly or can't read blue prints.

I'm just waiting for Plant #42 to go belly up or be sold. I would rather see it sold and everyone in management fired, if it remains an RV manufacturer. I worked at this plant for 12 years. I like the work and like so many others quit or got fired because they were so mistreated. We should feel sorry for both the employees and the customers.

So, if plant #42 is sold I would definitely consider reapplying.

Just a few more facts about this plant. There was a man that was always pulling his pants down mooning other associates. This was going on eversince I started working their. He was terminated. Fist fights were really bad there too and when management started cracking down on this and started terminating people, they took their fights across the railroad tracks off Fleetwood's properly. So the police had to be called by neighbors. Some guy got beat up so bad that he was off work for a long time. Another thing this plant finally put a stop to is associates shrink wrapping other associates and putting them on top of trailers or somewhere else. They finally got sued over this dangerous activity and that is why it stopped. This was only done when a person had a birthday and the sorry thing about it is that the team leaders participated in this dangerous activity. Some of the associates was going to shrink wrap me up until I told them they will have a lawsuit on their hands if they try it.

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#4 Nov 22, 2008
[quote]I'm just waiting for Plant #42 to go belly up or be sold.[/quote]

These words have hauntingly come true, since plant #42 will cease to exist as of Jan 19, 2009. I was first told about this at the place where I'm working now. Everything will be moved to Edgerton.
jlm

Centerburg, OH

#5 Dec 4, 2008
Well i work at the 44 plant in Decatur, IN and i have heard that there is going to be a layoff this week of 250 people. I dont know what that means for the company as a whole, but its not looking good if this is true. And to make a comment on the "poorly built" product. I have been on the line for a little over 6 years and have built the best product that i could. Yes there are problems with the product, but that comes from the people with the poor attitude and think that they are being screwed over by the company. They would rather stand around and talk about how bad the product is and how they would never buy one then to do something about it, like make a better product. From day one, i worked with designers and upper management to make the product better for everyone.
I dont know about the problems that they have had at plant 42, but i know there were very few situations at 44. And anyone that has worked or still works and any of the fleetwood plants that just comes on here to make bad comments about the product should know that they are hurting others that still like there job.

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#6 Dec 5, 2008
I'm sure there are Fleetwood plants that are good to work for. It sounds like plant #42 needed someone like you. But, the management probably wouldn't listen to you. Everytime I turned around corporate was replacing management, but they never went far enough. They should have replaced some of the team leaders too. I tried my hardest to make suggestions and the ones that were used, the supervisors and team leaders took the credit for. If it hadn't been for a clever idea that I came up with all of the bed bases were going to have to be taken out and more build to a changed blueprint.

Let me tell you something. I was very dedicated to my work and never stood around and talked. And I always tried to put quality in my work and yes, I had a PERFECT attendance in the whole 12 years I've worked there. Something to really be proud of. But, because of the nasty attitudes of many of the groupleaders and the products we had to work with, is it any wonder that I developed the attitude I did. Many people including you wouldn't even last a month if you had to do what I did there. This company had such a huge turn over, you never got to know anyone. So until someone worked in this plant, known for having such a bad reputation, people don't need to be criticizes me.

I tried very hard to convince another travel trailer manufacturer to come to Crawfordsville, but our city wouldn't do certain things to help this company that I would have went to work for in a heartbeat. I stayed in contact with them until I received the unhapply news that they were going to add on to the facility they have in Peru. I know a lot of the people who ran this plant. You can correct me, but I'm thinking that they named their company Timberland or Timberlake in Peru Indiana.

I'm hoping another travel trailer place goes in where Fleetwood is leaving. I loved my work, but always had issues with some of them in management and the products.



Anyhow I stand by my statements in my other message.

I just hope you are working for one of the good Fleetwood plants such as the one in Edgerton Ohio. Where is your plant located?

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#7 Dec 5, 2008
Sorry that I overlooked where your plant was located which is in Decatur, IN. It sounds like you are working for a good Fleetwood plant. It's better to lay off workers for a while than closing the plant completely. I hope your plant doesn't close. But, the economy is so bad that many companies, such as Fleetwood has no choice, but to close a bunch of plants. Wish you and plant #44 success.
Fired

Fort Jennings, OH

#8 Dec 15, 2008
I worked at plant #44 for fifteen years and got laidoff friday. I had perfect attendance and a spotless record. But they kept many many people who has less time than me either because their uncle is a higher up person at the plant or some other relation to them. Two of the people only has two years there. Some people that is still working there has missed many days and still they got rid of me. What a joke!!! What more of a joke is that if you're not called back in six months(you're considered fired) you have to reapply when they hire again and you have to start all over.

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#9 Dec 15, 2008
Fired wrote:
I worked at plant #44 for fifteen years and got laidoff friday. I had perfect attendance and a spotless record. But they kept many many people who has less time than me either because their uncle is a higher up person at the plant or some other relation to them. Two of the people only has two years there. Some people that is still working there has missed many days and still they got rid of me. What a joke!!! What more of a joke is that if you're not called back in six months(you're considered fired) you have to reapply when they hire again and you have to start all over.
Sorry to hear you got laid off, especially now when the economy is so bad. Exactly what was your job function? If you didn't do work that that only few others would do, you are more likely to get laid off. In this case I have to defend your company, because a lot of people wouldn't do certain jobs in these work environments. So you have to do some soul searching and evaluate the jobs that you had done at plant #44.

Know this sounds harsh, but I think a company should have a right to lay off those who can't do the harder jobs or just plain lazy and goofing off all the time. And that is why I don't like unions. Have never been laid off in a non union shop.

True, I did get fired from Fleetwood plant #42 in which I worked there for 12 years. But, things continued to become more stressed between management and I with them not liking the message or the messager. I'm one who don't put up with the crap they dish out. Given that, I have seen layoff after layoff when I worked at plant # 42. 2 weeks after I started working at plant #42 they had laid off up to 15 years, but I was never laid off. But the work I did made my job secured even though I seen so many layoffs. Worked in the cabinet shop building 2 of the hardest items that went in trailers. And that was bed bases and walls. It was very hard to get anyone to do these 2 jobs, wanting to do easier things.

Got roped into fixing some difficult things in trailers on the line several times. Therefore, I would have been gone in no time if it weren't for certain jobs. I had no relatives or friends working there at Fleetwood and toward the end of my employment certain ones hated my guts, because the truth hurt. I was virtually an unknown when I went to work there.

If your company don't call you back within six months, then by all means reapply. If you get hired again, you may want to consider some of the harder jobs there. An employee is more valuable to the company who is versatile and can do the harder worker. Just remember, in a non union shop seniority don't mean a thing. Good Luck.
eSSdBB

West Des Moines, IA

#10 Dec 17, 2008
It didn't matter if you worked a "skilled" job or you vacuumed the interiors and washed windows at Plant 44 this time around.

They kept the "good 'ol boy" crowd in my old department. The same group of guys who always were allowed to work together during the weeks we we shut down this year...and accomplish NOTHING. When I mean nothing...I'm talking hiding in coaches out in the yard listening to the radio. Yet I can think of 6-8 other guys who volunteered to come in constantly and were shot down. Those guys all got the ax, conveniently enough.

I imagine I would still be working there had I gone to the bars after work on Fridays with my group leader and his clique of buddies. That same clique would also miss constantly (several were on Written Warnings and are still there), or would come in drunk. What really pissed me off about these guys were that when we had a bad day...they would just take a ½ day and go home screwing the rest of the department.

Fleetwood, in this group of Group Leaders and Managers (who right before the big layoff in June got a large bonus!!!), has really screwed over the workers who did their job year in and year out. The "good 'ol boy" system won out. At least I get my free $6000 for college now and will never have to deal with Fleetwood again.

BTW, I was a welder..and don't remember the last time we had enough bodies to get the job done on time.

This plant has gone straight down hill as soon as Eskritt got promoted. He was always out on the floor talking to people. The new guy, Chuck, is invisible. I've literally seen him 3 times in 3 years..all in plant meetings (when he's there for those).

And seriously, most of the managers in Plant 44 were worthless...and very few of them have any sort of college education! Yet they strut around...telling us how they think we could do our jobs better...when their ideas have zero merritt. I just find it amazing that Larry Irwin and Joe Adams combined have less business sense than the illegal selling oranges in the middle of Collesium Blvd...yet they are running the plant.
Bill

United States

#11 Dec 17, 2008
Did anyone see the big wigs walking around the plant? I got word that it was some big investment firm looking around.. Maybe we will be bought out soon... I sure do hope so.. plant 44 Decatur.
Hang in there we all make a great product
Sandy

United States

#12 Dec 18, 2008
I can't say yes or no but someone sure does like
to drink coffee.. Maybe they will buy us out and things will get back to normal...
eSSdBB

West Des Moines, IA

#13 Dec 18, 2008
Just b/c a place gets bought out doesn't mean production will turn around and run full force.

It often times means the opposite in the industrial world....as new management tries their best to turn a profit ASAP by scaling down.

If they want the best workers working, Fleetwood should have drug tested the entire plant here in Decatur...top to bottom. That would have weeded out (no pun intended) a bunch of people...and kept honest workers doing their job. But they won't do that....b/c they know they would be surprised at who would fail.

“Digging out the poop pile!”

Since: Aug 08

LaLaLand USA

#14 Dec 19, 2008
eSSdBB, if you felt like you been laid off for no good reason, have you thought about sending an email to Kathy Munsion, HR at Corporate in California. And try to have some witnesses who would be on your side to say a few words on your behalf as well. Also report dope addicts that you are aware of.

But, if you are laid off more than 6 months, by all means go back and put your application in again. But, be willing to take on some of the hardest jobs in the plant. I have to stand by with what I say-if you work your ass off, based on plant #42, there is a good chance that they will keep you.

Fleetwood #42 can easily get welders by posting bids and training employees. So they had no shortage of welders. But, they had a shortage of people who would work there asses off for such an unforgiving company. It didn't take me very long to realize the mindset of this managements. It's a harsh realilty that this is what happens in many of these companies.
hunter

Philadelphia, PA

#15 Dec 31, 2008
I worked at plant #71 in pa, now closed dec. 8 got layed off. Told us everything moving to Decatur. So why all the lay offs with the extra work load?
eSSdBB

West Des Moines, IA

#16 Jan 2, 2009
It was because dealers were closing and Fleetwood had to buy back all of their deisel units. A couple years ago they made 12/day...and were down to 3/day recently. So with no diesels being sold, and them having to buy back several dealership's worth of inventory, they decided not to run them until further notice.

So they turned all of their attention towards the Gasoline and the "Class C" products. Now they build 2 Gas Model A's and 1 "Class C" per day.

But that's misleading, since the total # of weeks worked from Thanksgiving through the end of the quarter (end of January) will only total 3 complete weeks. After the end of the quarter they are supposed to take a look at future production needs....which I'm sure will be work 1 week and have 3 weeks off. Why build the things when every lot and Fleetwood property in Decatur is flooded with unsold units?
eSSdBB

West Des Moines, IA

#17 Jan 2, 2009
What's great hunter, is they told us that when Paxinos closed we were probably be working 6 or 7 days a week for "quite some time." Then days after the plant was shut down in Pennsylvania for good, the Decatur plants axe'd most of their employees. So we were told in November we'd be working overtime 7 days a week....to getting terminated less than a month later.

Great leadership and vision in this company! It's no wonder the hilljacks in management have run the company into the ground. A company that once was a great figure in our community is now known more for it's poor leadership and lackluster management practices.
hunter

Philadelphia, PA

#18 Jan 7, 2009
I was a welder at plant #71 in Paxinos.ok place to work,not great, just ok. Wish them luck at building new units as i know how the prints are, shity at best. Nothing fit,and now new units comming out! ha ha ha
eSSdBB

West Des Moines, IA

#19 Jan 8, 2009
I was a welder too. Prints were never right to begin with, and were never updated over time.

We were told they were holding off on Proto units (other than gas). Then again...all of the gas units were basically Proto's to us.

The few that we ran were chassis that sat outside for 2 years and were covered in rust. The entire fuel lines and many chassis rails were solid rust. What were we told to do to it? Paint it black. LOL!
Harold

United States

#20 Jan 8, 2009
Hey my wife was one of the people laid off at 44 on Dec 12. She had gotten a fifteen year award 2 weeks earlier. Good thing she spent $440.00 before she got laid off. Went to spend the last $60.00 and the card was cancelled by Fleetwood, according to Bank of America. Can't get ahold of anyone to dispute it. Fleetwood must be hard up for money to pull this. It's so low it's almost funny. Yes she had a spotless attendance record, worked hard, and they kept some good ole employees with less time.

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