Letters written and sent to the Wire

October 3, 2000
Nashville Wire Products
Management

SIRS:

On Friday, September 29th, my wife, Lisa McNeil was terminated from her position with Nashville Wire Products, White Bluff Division. She had just completed her 15th year with your company. Along with her, two other ladies were dismissed from their jobs, one with 24 years of service and the other with 6. Both of these ladies are single moms with little other in the way of income. This action was supposedly taken in the name of “restructuring” positions within Nashville Wire. This letter is to inform you of just how ashamed I am of you and your company. Not only was this done in a callous and heartless manner, but it seems to me it was also of dubious intent. My wife was the second person called into Mike Anglin’s office to meet with him and Angie Binkley. Both treated her in quite an unfeeling and hurtful manner. She was informed her job was being eliminated and she was no longer needed. Also at that very moment she was told of this, Binkley smugly presented her with her 15th year award, as if she should be grateful. This almost turns my stomach every time I think about it. Not one word of regret or encouragement was offered. She then suffered the indignity of having Anglin stalk her back to her desk to remove her personal items and then to her locker and out the door. As if she might take some item of great value with her as she left the building. I was told the other ladies were treated in a similar manner. I consider that sort of treatment both degrading and insulting. I see why now most employees in White Bluff that I am acquainted with think of Anglin in such negative light. It is my understanding that the morale at the White Bluff plant was already low, with problems keeping production workers. Imagine how other longtime workers in White Bluff will react upon learning of the events of last Friday. Can anyone there have any sense of job security? No matter what management tells them. Can the jobs of these 3 affect your bottom line that much with as many employees as you have? How is it that they have people working overtime if profits are not high enough? I am employed at a business directly across the street from Nashville Wire in White Bluff. In my position I come in contact with people seeking employment, as we have less than 50 people in our plant we do not hire that often and I encourage them to try at the wire factory. Rest assured that I would no longer do that, in fact, if asked I will surely tell them what I think of your company.

I hesitate to mention this, but I must. I have the nagging feeling that some other considerations were taken in this decision. I can not speak for the other ladies, but I know there are circumstances in their case that lead me to believe more than restructuring is going on. Lisa suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and has to take some very expensive medicine. This disease is unpredictable and may not worsen or it could one day cripple her. Her medicine is not a cure but helps stabilize the disease. Lisa took pride in the fact she was able to still do a job and be able to contribute to your company. She did not and does not want charity, she sincerely wanted to be able to do her job and earn her wages. She was active on the steering team for your team concepts and had been trained (now a waste) in the ISO 9002 quality system. She wanted to do her job and then some. She had mentioned to me how one of the Rollins would speak of Nashville Wire as a family. I truly hope this is not how you treat members of your families. I cannot of course prove the cost of her treatment had any influence on your decision of whom to terminate. Surely no one would ever admit such a thing or verbalize that thought. I can assure you that Lisa did not want this disease and would gladly pay back the money your insurance company has paid for her medicine to not have to suffer the injections she gives herself every other night. Injections that go into her legs, stomach, and arms. I pray for your souls that this had nothing to do with the decision to terminate her. I also hope that none of your loved ones have to endure such treatment on dismissal from their jobs. I would also hope that Anglin and Binkley could perhaps have some training in “people” skills. While I am sure my wife and the other ladies wish they still had their jobs, I know they are better off not to have to be involved with people that either don’t have a conscience or don’t care enough to know what their subordinates are doing to the employees that make your money for you.

Nicholas McNeil

cc Bart Rollins, David Rollins, CB Rollins, Jr., Wade Douglass, Mike Anglin, Angie Binkley

This letter written by citizens of White Bluff

A few weeks back, I received news from which I still haven’t recovered. One of White Bluff’s largest employers, Nashville Wire, was downsizing. This news has been a major blow to the community. The wire factory has been part of the White Bluff family since the mid sixties. Many people began working at the factory upon high school graduation and have or would retire from here. White Bluff is a town that is well known as being tight knit. I’ve even heard it being referred to as clannish. As a matter of fact, one of the town’s worse tragedies was related to the wire factory and it was also an example of the closeness of the town. One of Nashville Wire’s employees drowns in the Spring of 1997. The young man had been missing for several days. During that time, a large number of the community’s businesses donated supplies and food for the search. Many of the young man’s co-workers at Nashville Wire took vacation days to join the search. The plant manager of that time even gave the entire factory time off from work with pay in order for them to attend the funeral. THAT is White Bluff and Nashville Wire. The being there when the chips are down. The support of family that isn’t necessarily biological. It is now time for White Bluff to band together again and support the three women (two single mothers and one woman with a disability) that has been “voluntarily” terminated from Nashville Wire. The three women were told, I believe, that their positions were being eliminated. One of the eliminated positions was the Purchaser position. What? The plant is no longer going to purchase the materials use to construct their products. This very employer has “Now hiring” signs posted in front of the building and in the local paper. Employees are even working overtime. As a matter of fact, one of those who was dismissed even worked overtime the week she was let go. The employer has even hired a new employee who had been in service for two weeks to the day that these women were terminated. This employee holds the position in which one of the women was in the process of being trained. Not only that, but another of the women that was let go had held the position before. For some reason, I believe that someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Allow me to give a bit of information that not everyone knows. One of these women has 24 years of service at Nashville Wire. She was also the Purchaser for the factory. Obviously, her position was not eliminated but shoved off onto someone else. Why was the restructuring and lay offs not done by seniority or even based on who has the most company knowledge? Doesn’t it make sense that someone who has been with a company for 24 years and has done the job before would have more knowledge of how to do the job now? Or that someone with a disability would have a difficult time finding a replacement for the employer that she had been with for 15 years and for the job for which she was trained? Is there more to the story than what people are led to believe? Does the three chosen have anything to do with the high cost of medical bills? Does it have anything to do with a certain manager being warned about proper language in front of employees? Does it have anything to do with garnering the same respect as one of Nashville Wire’s oldest employee? Not having the knowledge as someone who has been with the plant for 24 years? Possibly. Or it could just be plain old lack of managerial skills. The same lack of skills that causes a division manager to curse his employees. The same lack of skills that has that manager relaying “confidential” information to unprivileged co-workers. Maybe it has nothing to do with any of the suggestions above. Maybe it is because we are poor little country folk who don’t understand the big city ways. We don’t understand business. I do believe that is what Nashville Wire’s White Bluff Division Manager told an employee. But we do understand business. And more. We know enough to begin bringing our business back home. Most of us do our banking, shopping, fill our pharmaceutical needs and have our vehicles repaired without leaving White Bluff. There is a sense of unity among us. Yes, we have our disagreements. But we stand together when it counts. Nashville Wire has been a part of the family for decades, so has the people employed there. When someone has been treated in the manner of these three women, it is as if someone has harmed a member of our family. People met in the streets, in the bank, in the post office, in the convenience markets, actually, most everywhere you go has expressed disbelief of the incident and concern for the three women. Members of the Nashville Wire family (and that word is being used quite the sarcastic tone lately) feel as someone has died in the family. If these terminations were truly done in order to save 150 other positions, Nashville Wire needs to reconsider the manner in which they were done. Those who are most loyal to the company are disgusted with management and morale is sinking lower and lower everyday. It has been rumored that the White Bluff plant will be shut down soon. Actually, I believe the division manager made this statement during a meeting. Keep treating your employees this way and it will be sooner than you know. The temporaries hired for the plant generally don’t stay through the 90-day probationary period. It is difficult to find workers. Who do you think will want to work for a company that treats its employees like Nashville Wire has treated those three ladies?

While this letter may not succeed in doing anything but make others aware of the deplorable treatment of the women, it does help relieve the frustration of the situation that is felt by everyone that already knows the story.

Citizens of White Bluff, Tennessee(thanks Alwina)

This letter was written by my son Ryne, who I am very proud of

Hello Mike Anglin,

You fired my mom, Lisa Dawn McNeil. Please don’t throw this letter away, just read this!! Let’s say you are a kid at the age of ten. One day your father tells you that your mother has Multiple Sclerosis. A month later your mom starts taking a medicine called Betaseron. Because she has insurance it only cost her about $25 a month. Then a few short months later, like you did my mom I fire her. Now her medicine is going to cost over $1000 a month and no insurance company will have any thing to do with her. So now think about what you have done. I hope she is able to find some insurance. But what if she does not?

Ryne McNeil

P.S. Please reply

Date: Nov. 5, 2000

Letter from Angie Hall

To Whom It May Concern:

I am an employee at Nashville Wire Products White Bluff Division and have been for thirteen years. In all of these years I have never seen such low morale and such poor work environment. The termination of the three employees in the Production Office is the main cause of the way everyone feels. I do not think the termination of these employees was necessary. I feel there could have been other means to save the jobs of two single mothers and a disabled lady instead of what was done. The remark was made that management saved 120 jobs by letting these people (women) go. To me that is bull! I can’t see where we have saved any money. We still have rejected parts coming back from customers every week to be reworked or scrapped and then remade. Which means you are paying employees twice to make the same parts. Is this saving money? We also have more overtime. We have indirect people working way too many hours and the comment was made that it was needed. You can’t make me believe it is needed for someone to work thirty plus hours overtime a week! To me that is considered a safety hazard. Someone might need to check into that! I know of several employees that would have given up their overtime and I am sure there would be several more if asked that would have been willing to give their overtime up to have helped the three ladies keep their jobs. On Nov. 2, 2000 Bob Murray and a couple of ladies from his office came to White Bluff to hold meetings to answer the questions he was asked in a previous meeting at White Bluff about three weeks ago. If they were here to try and make a bad matter better it was total failure. All they did was make it worse. With the way Bob talked to people and the remarks he made about people it was pitiful. I myself along with others felt we were not given straight answers. Bob talked all around the questions and gave poor remarks for answers. In the meeting I attended I asked the question “Who is on the Steering team at White Bluff?” You could see Bob’s expression change and the statement I received from him was “IF YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE THE POINT THAT THE THREE PEOPLE WHO WAS TERMINATED WAS ON THE STEERING TEAM”. I said no I was just saying I would like to know who is on the Steering team now. All I did was a simple question and felt that the remark Bob made was not necessary and was very unprofessional. The tone of his voice changed and I did not like the way he handled it at all. Bob also talked about the temporaries being untrainable. He also said the temps we are getting now is being scraped from the bottom of the barrel. Most of White Bluff’s employees are now hired through a temporary service. Now how do you think this must have made all of them feel? Some of the temps are quitting because of what Bob said. Bob said in this meeting there needs to be more training done. I feel that H.R. Corp. (Bob) also needs more training on how to handle meetings because the ones he did at White Bluff was handled very poorly. Also it is very professional to have the Division Manager after each question asked to lean over and whisper to Angie Binkley (also from Corp H.R.) while the meetings was going on. We were told if we had any questions to write them down and send them to H.R. and Management. Maybe the Division Manager should have done the same instead of whispering during the meetings. In another meeting Bob told them “Welcome To The Real World!” Is this an appropriate way for the Corp. H.R. Manager to handle this?

There is one thing that everyone agreed with that Bob said. Bob made the statement that the termination of three employees Was Not Handled In The Proper Manner By Management (Mike Anglin). You can say that again! But we should have heard this from the Division Manager (Mike Anglin). Thank you for your time and I do hope that this letter is taken seriously (due to a statement made by management) and not just pushed to the wayside.

Thank you,

Angelia Hall

also signed by
Duane Nash
Audrey Thompson
Mary Hughes
Rhonda Allbert
Becky Kerr
Verdie Lee
Janice Hall
and others

CC: Anne Reed, Marilyn Fleet, Mike Anglin, Bob Murray, David Rollins, Bart Rollins Jr., Bart Rollins III.

Now dear readers, I ask you in all sincerity, after reading these letters, does this sound like the same company who has this quote on their web page?

"At Nashville Wire Products, our products see constant change, but our values remain constant. We embrace such values as honesty, loyalty, fairness, cooperation, teamwork, open communication, energy, hard work, continuous improvement, and a sense of community."

Gag me with the proverbial spoon.

Anyone with questions about this is free to call me at 615-797-4653


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