Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quest Diagnostics and an Issue of Accuracy

Quest Diagnostics is a company which prides itself on accuracy. Without accuracy in testing results the company has nothing with which to lift itself above the crowd of competition. It is Quest Diagnostics reputation for accuracy which creates a market of medical professionals who contribute to the continued success of the company.

Accuracy is not only a requirement of the company for those who perform the work; it is on the level of a philosophy of the management team of Quest Diagnostics. So when anyone does anything at Quest Diagnostics it is always done with accuracy in view. It is an ever present mantra. Accuracy is something which requires constant monitoring.

When an inaccuracy is discovered it must be corrected in order to avoid any damage to that reputation of a company known for accuracy. If one single aspect of the company is not accurate then people might begin to question if they can continue to rely on the company for accuracy in other areas such as the results of medical tests which are relied upon for the health of people.

Having said that it is important to point out that contained in a paper handed out to members of the logistics staff, in an effort to convince them that a union is not in their best interest, there were several highly inaccurate statements.

Since the inaccuracies were so very prominent and since the entire paper was predicated upon those inaccurate statements the entire paper proved to be a laughable failure at an attempt to dissuade the staff from voting yes to a union, something which appears to be headed toward reality.

In regard to this article it is not important to ask why the company is opposed to a union effort. The only thing which is important in the matter is the simple question, is the company producing inaccurate information in the effort?

Since the company, as has been my past experience, requires that such information be identified when published as to who authored the paper and since no such signature is assigned to the paper, it is immediately at fault.

It offers nothing more than the blind mark of propaganda. Any paper which is unsigned should be assigned without a fair reading to the realm of trash. Relegated to what my second grade teacher Mrs. Healy referred to the round file.

But since I did read this propaganda and since it was handed to me by management of the company I can only conclude that it was in fact management which produced this piece of anti union propaganda. How high up the ladder of management is goes I have no idea.

But my way of looking at things as “the buck stops here” would require that anything of question distributed directly by management go straight to the office of the C.E.O. Surya Mohapatra and filter its way down. Let me say here and now that I don’t believe for a moment that Surya Mohapatra had anything at all to do with the production of this propaganda.

But since all things related to accuracy reflect on the entire company in one way or other, then he and the entire leadership team should be concerned about such inaccurate propaganda.

Having said that let me set the record straight about the inaccurate statements. It was stated in the propaganda that the writer of the propaganda was “told” that Quest Diagnostics employees were told by Teamsters to “keep quite” when asking questions about the union.

The fact is that no such statement was made to any Quest Diagnostics employee present that day by any representative of Teamsters local 97. And since the company prides itself with accuracy then they should not be publishing things on hearsay.

However it is my opinion that it is not a matter of hearsay, but in fact a matter of creative propaganda designed to fit the theme of the propaganda, titled “The Teamsters Idea of Education.”

The second inaccuracy was the statement “We heard the union said they could get you a big raise.” Again I must state for the record that no such public statement to the group was made by any representative of Teamsters Local 97.

If the company would name the imaginary individual who made these inaccurate statements, I am certain that certain individuals who are pushing the union forward would be more than happy to sit down with both management and that imaginary individual and set the record straight.

Perhaps there really was someone who did in fact state those things to management. It is possible that the individual went to the wrong meeting room and thought that he was at the union meeting when in fact he was actually across the hall at the meeting of N.A.M.B.L.A. the North American Man Boy Love Association.

I don’t know but I do know that he didn’t hear those things said at the meeting of Quest Diagnostics employees and Teamsters Local 97.

As a matter of fact it was mentioned by a union representative that the logistics staff should not even be looking for that sort of monetary result at this point in time. What was made clear by a union representative and more specifically by several members of the logistics staff who are spearheading this effort is that the primary goal and objective of a union is to gain “respect.” Respect! What part of the word “respect” don’t you understand?

I make no representations as to my own belief as to the need for such a union or any lack of respect, but am compelled by dedication to the company in a desire to protect and preserve the philosophy of “accuracy” to make comment on this important subject.

It is important that all understand that writing propaganda, or snake oil, as I like to call it should not be attempted by a novice. It should be left to the stunt propagandist to write anti union propaganda. Propaganda in the wrong hands can get people hurt.

Remember. Never play with matches and never play with propaganda. Scotty to Captain Kirk. Beam me up captain.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

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Addendum: This is a standard internet advertisement statement from Quest Diagnostics!

Lab Assistant I
Job ID: I61600 At Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, we understand urgency. But more than speed, we focus our energies on accuracy. Currently we are seeking a Lab Assistant I.

Quest Diagnostics has many career opportunities for individuals whose talent, initiative and dedication will complement our belief that the patient comes first and that values do matter. We work to earn our customers' trust every day by providing the highest quality products and services in a professional, accessible and informative way. Our workforce is diverse and talented and believes in our vision: "Dedicated people improving the health of patients through unsurpassed diagnostic insights."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quest Diagnostics on Track

Indeed it seems that the executives at Quest Diagnostics are entitled to “Take a Bow” for the Herculean effort which they have been credited with from the good people on Wall Street. In what seems like a very short timeframe they have managed to trim fat and manage the business in accordance with the demands of both business operation and marketplace.

Of course what is good for the company is good for the employees of the company. Or at least those portions of the company which managed to avoid the
Sword of Damocles’. Since it is reported that Quest still intends to trim about an additional $500 million over the next two years, as reported by Forbes, that might just be a little bit of a concern as to what that means in terms of jobs.

No one has said on the record just how that savings is going to happen. Quest Diagnostics like all good companies tend to play their cards close to the vest. That is an issue which should be of concern for anyone contemplating a union. Read that statement how you will.

You can read the article yourself at the
Forbes Website. There is also another article of interest related to a contract which assures that Quest Diagnostics will be able to provide top notch results as their reputation in the industry dictates.

I recommend this article off the PRNewswire for your reading at the
CNN Money website. It is about the Digene Corp. contract which is an extension of the current contract. It seems that things are really going along swimmingly for Quest Diagnostics. Congratulations to Surya Mohapatra everyone involved in the fine work being done for everyone on the Street.

Now on another topic while I am in the mood to offer congratulations I would like to commend the fine job being done by the Snake Oil Sam Quest Diagnostics Reading Circle. You guys are the best. I see that a nice little group of you managed to arrange your schedule to log on in a close knit little group. It’s nice to know that I am so loved.

But I have to say that the selection of reading material was a little on the light side. Legal on the other hand kicked back and read twenty six pages in just over a half hour. I wish that I could read that fast. Education shows!

Well, check in next time to see what is new with old Snake.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Signs of Alzheimer’s

Perhaps it’s simply a lapse in memory but when you begin to lose focus and mental clarity it just might be a sign of that stage of life when things begin to slip. But even though it might not be as clear as it once was, there are little tricks which can be employed to make it a little less problematic.

For example I will use the instance which inspired this article. When you are making breakfast for yourself and you go to the fridge to get something. You swing open the door and look inside. Then you think to yourself, why am I looking in this thing?

You turn and look around and you determine that you are indeed in your kitchen and that is a clue. You determine that you feel hungry or thirsty. That is a clue. Now the thing that is important is that you not permit yourself to get a visual overload.

Close the door and take a breadth. Narrow it down to a specific category. Hunger or thirst? If it is thirst it is pretty easy to get to the next category. Hunger can be a little more problematic. Food can vary from meal to meal. But thirst is less of a problem as I just suggested.

If it is thirst it is a simple question of which brand of beer do I want? Remember the beverage remains the same from meal to meal. Breakfast, Eggs and beer. Lunch, Turkey sandwich and beer. Dinner, Steak and beer. As you can see the beverage selection is easy once you have determined the issue is in fact thirst and not hunger.

Food on the other hand can be quite confusing. You need to first determine what time of day it is and that was a small problem for a few days but I will tell you about that later. Once you determine the time of day you need to decide what looks best in there. You need to root around and go from shelf to shelf.

That is the beauty of beer. It is always on the same shelf. But after looking for that perfect snack you decide that it isn’t in the damn thing so you just close the door and walk away sadly. But of course five minutes later you return in hope that in your absence something really good was added to the conglomeration of leftovers.

Now about that time problem I mentioned above. Since I lost my watch for several days I had to wonder did the gremlin take it and hide it on me or was it yet one more sign of Alzheimer’s? I will never know for sure just how it got to where it was found but I have my dear wife to thank for helping me in finding it.

One day she came home all happy and excited and I knew right then that I was in trouble. She said, Snake honey, you know that place in the yard where you haven’t planted a tree yet. I sheepishly said yes, voice quivering.

And she then said, I have some great news. I found just the right tree, and it is out in the S.U.V. would you be a darling Snake and take it to that place, that special place, and dig a really big hole in the ground and put that tree in the hole so that I can sit here and look out of the window and admire it.

So, as I was thinking about the pain in my back I went to the tool room and wouldn’t you know I found my watch. Perhaps I took it off the last time I went to the tool room to get the tools which I needed to plant the last four trees she brought home.

Yes, magnolia trees sure are pretty but so are the purple plum and the apple. This vacation is just about killing me boss. But at least I have my watch again. I can use it to count the days until I return to work so that I can get some rest.

Oh, and one more thing about Alzheimer’s that is important to remember. I guess that is an oxymoron since with Alzheimer’s you can’t remember. Anyway, be really careful when you wake up in the morning and look into her beautiful eyes.

Don’t ever say the name of an old girlfriend. It can get you in really hot water. But honey it’s the Alzheimer’s. I guess that I’ll be building a doghouse next. Now where the hell did I leave those eyeglasses?

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007

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Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Financial Picture Looking Rosy for Quest Diagnostics

Just when you think that things aren’t going so good for Quest Diagnostics you start seeing things reported on the internet that make you think that perhaps business as usual is not far off for this titan.

Of course on the other hand the folks at Teamsters local 97 are just as excited about this company doing well. It is something which will give them more bargaining chips if and when such an event takes place.

Of course it can be argued by the legal staff at Quest Diagnostics that this was done without the help of any union and that they would just be in the way of any such future gains.

Actually I think that they simply want the employees to have a little bigger piece of the pie and executive a little smaller piece. So who’s right and who’s wrong? Who knows? But there are as I said a number of reports out that report to the satisfaction of some that the company is doing well in the profitability field.

You have likely already seen this information, but if not and you want to start your day with a smile you can read what is reported at
ABC Money a Brit site it would seem. Of course the company might be a little concerned about the illegal use of its brand on this page.

That is why I don’t do stuff like that. I wouldn’t want to give the folks in legal any legitimate reason to pull the trigger. Then after reading that good news if you still want more information you can click on this link and read about the
Teamsters at U.P.S. and what they are attempting to do. I’ll let you decide what to think about this issue. I guess that it can be spun in a number of directions.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Legal Defense Disclaimer
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.
Addendum: Go figure? The company’s profits are up and yet the value fell. One thing to be sure, you just can’t predict how the stock market will react to anything. There is even at least one company which I was looking at recently which was conceived and developed simply to wade through all the muck and mire of the world of blogging simply to inform its clientele what is important information and what is unimportant information.

Hopefully after looking at what this blog has to say about Quest Diagnostics it listed me as a blog with valuable information. But I fear that I am listed on the page of Muck and Mire. I wonder if it is more muck than mire?

Anyway, here is a link to see what the market is doing to diagnostic testing companies lately. It is a cruel world!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Quest Diagnostics and the Union Q&A

Someone in Florida contacted me in order to ask me a few questions about the Teterboro unionization effort. I am more than happy to answer mail but I am not quite sure if the individual is truly interested or is simply stating questions in such a way as to indicate that forming a labor union is not in the best interest of the Logistics Department of the Teterboro Business Unit.

In any event, I will attempt to answer those questions, but since writing is a very time consuming thing for someone like Snake Oil Sam, since my maxim is “why say in one word that which you can say in three words,” I will respond to the question/statement on this blog so that while answering the questions I also get to write a new article. If you have the patients to read it then I have the patients to write it.

As an interesting side note on Friday no one read this blog during the hours of 2 to 4 a.m. and the hour of 8 a.m. and the report isn’t compiled yet for the final hour of the day.

I guess that translates into two hours for sleep and one hour for the caffeine fix. The majority of the reading is done between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. which I guess means that not much else is getting done in Teterboro around lunch time.

Actually in all fairness they pretty well spread out the time spent doing the daily Quest Diagnostics Snake Oil Sam reading circle over the entire day. My Homeland Security friends at Picatinny Arsenal tend to show up at just about any time of the day. It’s a bureaucracy thing you know. The only thing that I really care about is that they show up.

So, in order to do this right let me first reprint the question/statement from a reader in Florida then I will continue with my comments. First let me state that this in no way represents the words or opinions of the executives of Quest Diagnostics and anything stated here is representative of what amounts to my opinion. And I might add that “my opinion” is subject to the legal disclaimer which can be viewed by clicking this
“my opinion” link or at the legal disclaimer link at the bottom of this page.

Now the readers’ question/statement:

Hi,

Will you tell me more about Quest logistics & unionization? I came in late to SOS & I'm sure there's an update from your source anyway. Can you imagine drivers actually agreeing to pay $40/mo for union dues? I doubt if they make enough denero for paying in dues. What would they get besides joining a group? Michigan found out too late the damage unions can bring. They were good in the hay-day of industrialization but they are 'almost' a dinosaur now...Walmart, Chinese low cost imports etc. Only miners & sweat shops need unions. I wonder if the union thing isn't really a corp-sponsered "poison pill" to thwart any leveraged buyout attempt (LBO) in addition to that last purchase that Quest company made wherein they spent way too much!?!

Also, what will you now discover about Quest being bought out/taken over by perhaps GE Healthcare?

O.K. I guess that the best way to do this will be to comment on an issue by issue basis.

[Will you tell me more about Quest logistics & unionization?]

In regard to the first part of the question tell about Quest Logistics, simply stated they were at one time the most important and well respected part of the team at Teterboro. They always go above and beyond the call of duty. I have known people who have run the gauntlet in order to collect specimens. You will find no more dedicated staff at Quest Diagnostics then the group at Teterboro Logistics. Just as an example they have learned to operate submarines simply to get the job done and get into the laboratory in the rain. (sorry inside joke)

In regard to the second part of the question, as you might or might not be aware this same department attempted to go union about two years ago. The union effort failed for a number of reasons. The company fought a hard won victory. They did so by a number of ways. They made a few statements which indicated that changes would be made if the rank and file, no that sounds to harsh, the crew, no that sounds to mafia, the R.S.R’s, there you go, leaned in favor of the company. Translation, a NO vote to the union.

The company attempted to hold up its end of the agreement. But apparently there have been a number of issues which have occurred such as the termination of an R.S.R. who became very seriously ill on the job. After a very poor response from the E.M.S. Company which seemed to have treated a very sick man as if he were a drug addict he was eventually transported to the hospital. His condition had nothing to do with drugs.

A short time after that incident that individual as is my understanding was nearly killed in an accident when he was struck by another motorist after exiting his vehicles to fix a flat or for some such reason.

It was reported at a union meeting that this gentleman was terminated for what some staff consider unjust cause. You need to understand that unjust cause is cause when you don’t have union representation.

Right or wrong this is one of the issues which outraged some who are leading this union effort. It is only one example. There are apparently others such as forcing someone to return to work even though he was recovering from a bout with some form of cancer. It was apparently “come back to work now or be fired.”

[I came in late to SOS & I'm sure there's an update from your source anyway.]

Sorry but my source is out of circulation as it were. But this is going to be a long drawn out issue. And it is not something which is just going to go away.

[Can you imagine drivers actually agreeing to pay $40/mo for union dues?]

Yes, actually I can! One of the issues is the cost of healthcare insurance. Even though the company pays a considerable amount for healthcare insurance, so do the employees. One of the goals of the union negotiators will be to get lower paycheck deductions so the bottom line is in effect $40.00 a month less for healthcare translates into $40.00 a month more for union dues.

The effect is that the company Quest Diagnostics pays the union dues for the employee. Why should the employee care which envelope his money goes into bottom line is he will get Company paid union representation.

Will the company agree to such a deal? Who Knows! The company will quickly point out, in the process “everything is on the table” in a union negotiation. The company will also quickly point out that the union could cost you to lose benefits. It is all a head game on both sides.

My personal belief at this point in time is that the employees won’t lose anything more than the respect of the management. The problem with that thought is that when someone with cancer is told to “come back to work or risk being fired” then the employees of Quest Diagnostics already have lost the respect of the management. And I really mean that Wendy!

[I doubt if they make enough denero for paying in dues.]

The Route Service Representatives at Quest Diagnostics Teterboro Business Unit make anywhere from $30,000.00 to $75,000.00 a year. Some a little more. It is not unusual for an R.S.R. to drive an Escalade or some other high end large carbon footprint S.U.V. to get to work. The issue is not so much money though you can bet that it is something on the minds of some.

But like I said the expectation is that changes and adjustments in other deductions from the paycheck will balance that issue. The problem here is that if the union is formed and negotiates successfully with the company then everybody else in every other department is going to want their deductions to match a good union contract.

That is why the company is so very adamant about holding the union down. As I stated in past articles which as I mentioned are covered by my legal disclaimer under the retroactive clause, this union effort could potentially spread like a wildfire. And with the help of New Jersey National Guard it isn’t hard to get a wildfire going.

Since Quest Diagnostics already makes boat loads of money from members of labor unions who also invest in D.G.X then the Teamsters have a considerable amount of leverage. “These local 97 guys ain’t no pussies.”

[What would they get besides joining a group?]

Oh, I don’t know, perhaps a little respect. Perhaps not being told that you have to come to work when you have cancer?

[Michigan found out too late the damage unions can bring. They were good in the hay-day of industrialization but they are 'almost' a dinosaur now...Walmart, Chinese low cost imports etc. Only miners & sweat shops need unions.]

Now this is the statement portion of the question/statement which I referred to above. I’m sure that the executive at Teterboro Business Unit loves this comment. Well, not really since Quest Diagnostics makes about a couple million dollars a year from doing pre-employment drug testing for Wal-Mart. Why does everybody hate Wal-Mart? I love Wal-Mart!

How about the fire and police unions? You forgot them. And how about construction workers unions? What about Medical professionals like nurses? There are a lot of people who have very respectable jobs who have unions. As for Michigan, did the trade unions kill it? Or was it perhaps the actions of corrupt politicians, mostly Democrat politicians, who sold America down the river a long time ago? You know; the ones who allow China to undersell American workers, the most skilled and dedicated workers on the planet.

[I wonder if the union thing isn't really a corp-sponsered "poison pill" to thwart any leveraged buyout attempt (LBO) in addition to that last purchase that Quest company made wherein they spent way too much!?!]

No! The union effort is no poison pill. I suggested that it would be something which might keep the hounds at bay, but it seems, according to the “experts” that there are far too many factors which cause Quest Diagnostics to not be a buy out target, at least not a buy out target at the moment in time.

As far as Quest Diagnostics spending “way too much…” all that I can say is that if you believe that you are more qualified to make those decisions than is Surya Mohapatra then get into the Lex and head North. Take Interstate 95 North to New Jersey Turnpike and take exit 16W to route 3 west. Follow the signs for route 17 south. Look for the Copper Ridge Center.

Your office is waiting. Just tell Surya that you have a plan. I’m sure that he would love to hear from you soon. Tell him that you are my pal. That will really get you in good with the boss. Just make sure that there are no sharp objects near his desk when you say that.
For the record the things which I have stated here represent my view of the situation and don’t necessarily represent my opinion about the need for or support for a union.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Legal Defense Disclaimer
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Paul Williams Suing Publisher

Since there are many aspects to the legal issues of this story it is difficult to separate that which is important from that which is unimportant. Perhaps it is all important at some level. Clearly there are many issues to be sorted out and sorted out they will be by the courts. After all that is what courts are designed to do isn’t it?

In an article sent to me by Michael Travis, a man for whom I have come to rely on to send me compiled lists of information which usually has the ability to scare me half to death or at least question the wisdom of our leaders, I find the subject matter upon which to comment today.

Indeed Michael Travis fills my mailbox with so much information I am usually in overload simply trying to keep up with all of it. Travis is a one man army for the fight against Islamic extremism. Indeed if all Jews were as dedicated to advancing this fight as is Travis, then everyone in America might just be a little bit safer.

But let me get on with the issue at hand. Paul Williams has in his published writing made some very serious allegations related to Canada’s McMaster University. So when publication laws which differ from country to country occur, apparently issues arise. It is important for any publisher wanting to publish a book in any country be familiar with the laws of that country.

The question then is who here is at fault? Williams wrote the book for publication in the United States of America. Obviously his publisher had taken the standard precautions which any reasonable publisher would take before putting anything into print.

The publisher, in addition to publishing books which they believe will make money for them, have in their own best interest the obligation to confirm that there is no issue which might lead to a lawsuit.

Or perhaps I should say more appropriately not any issue which cannot be reasonably defended in a court of law. In truth anyone can take anyone else to court just about any day of the week.

But when a publisher puts out a book they are responsible to stand behind the thing which they published. It is they who are the publisher and have placed upon that published work, their brand.

They have the final edit authority and they stand to become a party to any legal action. They also, in my opinion, have an obligation to stand behind their client, in this instance Williams. That is in my humble estimation an important aspect of any imprint.

But the issue is much more than this lawsuit. It appeals to the far ranging effect on the entire book publishing industry. By way of this lawsuit issued by Williams against his publisher this story has taken an extreme left turn along the way.

In time of war and worldwide fear of an obvious nuclear threat the rules of the game change. Or do they? This is an area which adds a new dimension to the publishing industry. It is a world where everyone becomes a player in some way or other.

Those who profit by publishing stories about the issues within the issues all share a degree of responsibility to write or publish in such a way that they are covered and protected by law. But the same laws which protect them can be countered with laws which protect the other team.

Can a writer sue the individuals who publish his or her book? The reasons sited by Williams in this lawsuit raise some interesting points. In reality when any individual or entity which causes another individual harm it is reasonable to conclude that such person can sue.

Merit is always an important factor in any lawsuit. Williams asserts that the actions of Cumberland House Publishing has by those actions as reported in a
Nashville Post article left him in a position whereby he will be hard pressed to find another publisher in the future.

Mr. Williams should consider that when writing things which, whether truthful or not, cause significant controversy and then sue the publisher of that controversial book than he is going to have difficulty in finding a publisher of any merit anyway.

Since the publishing industry like all industry doesn’t take kindly to being sued then the person bringing the lawsuit effectively becomes a pariah. His only hope then, short of self publication would be to find a publisher with the courage and conviction to stand behind him and his message.

Most publishing houses are not dedicated to a cause as is Williams and the bottom line as in all business shall always be the final deciding factor in corporate America. The question which interests me is how far reaching will the lawsuit be.

Can publication laws which apply to a book publisher be considered by those same courts to hold true to the internet? After all anything which can be stated in print can be stated just as well and with far more ease in the electronic media.

If something is written in the United States of America with those laws in mind is read in Zambia is the author to be judged by Zambian law. Must the author of a blog beat a drum as a warning that such information might get the reader in another land placed upon a pike in the town square?

Can a blogger get in hot water simply by reporting and commenting on what is being said by an investigator about a place like McMaster University? After all, those good folks do read everything written here about them. Could I be named as a co-defendant along with Williams?

Consider what they have said in regard to the comments of Williams. [A lawyer for the school said the claims are "on a par with UFO reports and JFK conspiracy theories," and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has termed them "false."]

I can’t speak for Paul Williams however my mainline defense remains as was the case of the well known comedian Flip Wilson, “The Devil made me do it!”

This is a case which bears close watch. It seems that I will have to consult with my legal department. Oh boy, I just remembered, I don’t have a legal department. Better learn to walk on thin ice I guess.

This is something which the blogging community had better be thinking about. I suppose that I can go back to building model airplanes.

Interestingly Williams remains committed to exposing what he claims are the facts of the McMaster issue. He remains true to his cause. And for that reason if for no other Paul Williams is a man to be admired by everyone who has any concern for safety in the fight against Islamic fascism.

Don’t forget to support the Paul Williams legal defense fund.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Legal Defense Disclaimer
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of
comment.

Legal Defense Disclaimer: The Devil Made Me Do It!

In an effort to bring about six degrees of separation for a reason of legal defense in all matters discussed and published here at the blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” and in consideration that old Snake can’t afford a good legal beagle for purpose of any future defense I thought it important to place within this blog a legal defense disclaimer.

This disclaimer shall be considered to be retroactive to any articles and comments made prior to the publication of this statement. This legal notice shall not in any way be deemed to be the only legal recourse available for defense but should be considered to be the first line of defense. It should suffice to remove any burden of further defense.

Any act of omission or co-mission damage caused by this blog to any individual, group or corporate entity whether it holds any sort of employment relationship with Snake Oil Sam or the individual behind the nom de plume or any other nom de plume now used or to be used in the future or not shall render the aforementioned Snake Oil Sam harmless.

This disclaimer shall be understood to apply to all media including print, voice, video, broadcast, podcast, internet published and linked articles in any format and technology now known to exist or yet to be discovered.

It is applicable in all nations now known or yet to be formed and applies on all continents of Earth and anywhere within the universe both known and unknown. It is also applicable to any inter dimensional species and time travelers.

Herewith any court considering any legal tort action against Snake Oil Sam or the person hiding behind the nom de plume shall first in addition to constitutional law of the United States of America consider the extenuating circumstances and defense which is “The Devil Made Me Do It!” a.k.a. the Flip Wilson Defense.

In addition to such legal defense the author Snake Oil Sam appeals to all relevant courts of The United States of America up to and including The Supreme Court, the good offices of the Queen of England, The World Court, The Hague, United Nations General Council and Council for World Peace, His Holiness Pope Benedict 16, Jewish Defense League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, G.L.B.T. council and also the legal representatives of Teamsters Local 97.

Revisions, additions, deletions and substitutions to this disclaimer may be made by me at any time without prior written or published notice. Anything left out of this disclaimer which if found by any legal review committee or judge which would have been the cause of a finding in favor of Snake Oil Sam shall be understood to be automatically and retroactively included in this disclaimer.

God Save the Queen! God Bless President George W. Bush!!

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might
not agree with the content of comment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Quest For On the Job Fun!

Have you ever wondered about the professionalism of the people who are charged with your healthcare? I have and I am pretty sure that you have as well. It is always important to know that you are in good hands. Yes, you are in the hands of people who take their job responsibilities seriously.

In an effort to demonstrate that I suggest that you see the dedication to that responsibility as this
medical professional works hand in hand with his fellow phlebotomists at a patient service center somewhere in America.

And while I am at it I just want to say that if and when a labor union is formed at Quest Diagnostics one of my first union demands will be to get one of these
little beauties so that I can get to work faster.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Monday, July 16, 2007

To Thine Own Self Be True

When decisions have to be made which affect a group of individuals each person must conclude what he believes is the best course of action for that group. In the final it comes down to a simple question. What is the best course of action for me? That might sound like a selfish viewpoint but in reality it is the same question which each corporate entity must ask each day. What is best for the corporation?

This was in effect the direction of a certain union organizing meeting I recently attended. Can it be said that all corporations are the same. With some difference in manner of leadership it can be reasonably concluded that in the end the bottom line is the thing which will be the determining factor in how things are run.

The corporation has the fiduciary obligation to answer to the stockholders. It would be unreasonable for them to take any other position. But it is important to remember that any company large or small is only as good as the people who work for it. Without the dedication of everyone working as a team the job cannot be done in a high standard.

And it is by a high standard of performance upon which a company is judged. Is it possible for a company to maintain a high standard of performance and at the same time deal with the possibility that some of the employees of that company have formed a union? Clearly many companies have enjoyed a high degree of success while at the same time negotiating with and accepting unions.

So why then would a company such as Quest Diagnostics be so adamant about keeping a small department like logistics at the Teterboro Business Unit from organizing. Is there more to it than simply not wanting that department to go union? Could it be that the thought is that if one department votes to unionize and in turn gets a good contract that others are simply waiting in the wings?

This is the type of thought process which has been planted in the minds of those in attendance. And they are valid points to consider. But at the same time it is important to answer that nagging question, is a union company a bad thing?

Of course the thought occurs to me that when you begin to talk about union activities it is something that could quickly snowball into a system wide action since the company has many locations and something on the order of forty plus thousand employees. That is something which makes the mouths of Teamster Locals salivate like a vampire who has the scent of blood.

It would seem that anyone who wants to stop the formation of a union within this logistics department need to focus on loyalty to company. But as I suggested above loyalty is a very visceral thing. The great William Shakespeare stated it best when he said the words which title this article.

And since there is so much more at stake than meets the eye what would be the result of a successful yes vote? Would management simply roll over and die? Not likely. Since the company has already stated in a letter to those involved that if the union push supported a successful union bid the company would certainly seek the best possible deal for the company or words along that line of thought.

That goes without saying but what exactly does that imply? My first thought was that if the crew went for a union that they would be sorry. They would be punished for such an act of disloyalty. And that might very well be the intended thought.

But on the other hand it might suggest that the company will simply negotiate in good faith the very best deal that it can get which does not necessarily deny that such a negotiation might benefit the department. It is possible that each side can come to some agreement that makes each side happy.

Of course one of the tools which a union might utilize is the possibility of a strike. That is a card which no one including local 97 wants to play. But it is an option and something which any company must concern itself with as it represents a potential interruption of business which could never occur without a union representation.

One of the things a union places on the table is the ability of the “little guy” to have some degree of a voice in what transpires in the day to day operation of the department. Not that much of a base of power exists but it cannot be denied that, for better or worse, an extra layer of bureaucracy comes into play.

This is an important aspect of the current situation within the logistics department. Apparently there are those who desire more of a voice in controlling the way things are done. They want to somehow be able to address certain grievance in a more legally controlled fashion.

Apparently they feel that administration has not fully lived up to their word last time around. So, once again the fight will be fought on both sides. The question is who shall prevail this time. My personal feeling is that things are not as clear cut as last time. Certain passion to stop this thing is lacking.

The scales are not balanced in the same order as last time. The company itself is not in the same financial situation as it was last time. I think that the crew is not as willing as before to prevent it. There is more energy this time on the side of the union. It could go either way at this point and I can’t honestly say that it would be the end of the world if the union wins the fight.

Interestingly Quest Diagnostics actively supports the activity of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender alliance. There are I would imagine many reasons for taking this course of action. But I would add the thought without intending to sound cynical that it represents a good business practice.

After all if you want the money of the people represented by this group to flow into the company then it would be a good idea to support the cause they represent. The same could be said when it comes to members of organized labor. Does Quest Diagnostics want to be supported by members of organized labor?

If so then wouldn’t it make perfectly good business sense to support those within their own company who feel the need for a union representation? And conversely, if they are opposed to such a union and attempt to make the lives of those who organize unpleasant then wouldn’t it behoove the entire organized labor movement to take their business and their stock investment out of the realm of Quest Diagnostics?

This is the sort of leverage represented by Teamsters and the sort of rational suggested at the recent union meeting. And I can’t say that I disagree with the rational. It seems that everyone has a lot of issues to think about.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Perseverance

Talk about dedication to a job, you can’t find many people today with as much perseverance as the good folks at Quest Diagnostics. This is a record of time spent researching and reading this blog. And it represents only one unique visitor. There are many others from this domain who also spent time here.

I should send this individual a bunch of flowers for being such a loyal fan of Snake Oil Sam. Thank you for your interest in what I write. But don’t forget that you have a much more important job than reading my twaddle. That is such a great word. It almost sounds obscene but it really isn’t.

Well, if you have any special requests on subject matter just send me an e-mail. I can rant on just about any subject. However, please keep the topic clean. After all this is a family blog.

IP Address 216.203.80.# (Quest Diagnostics)
ISP Quest Diagnostics
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New Jersey
City : Teterboro
Lat/Long : 40.8546, -74.0614 (Map)

Language English (U.S.)
en-us
Operating System Microsoft Win2000
Browser Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Javascript version 1.3
Monitor Resolution : 1024 x 768
Color Depth : 16 bits

Time of Visit Jul 11 2007 11:22:56 am
Last Page View Jul 11 2007
4:57:33 pm
Visit Length
5 hours 34 minutes 37 seconds
Page Views
71

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Barry Farber Visits W.A.B.C. New York

This seems to be a week of the Grand Masters at 77 W.A.B.C. as this past night saw the legendary Barry Farber at the helm. And it is always a pleasant time spent listening to Farber speaking his mind. Yes it is the voice of the grand gentleman of the Southland.

It seems difficult to believe that both Grant and Farber have been back at W.A.B.C. in the same week. There are today so many talk show hosts, a dime a dozen it seems. But people like Grant and Farber are a real treat for all of us.

I refer back to a past comment which I made to describe Barry Farber to any who might possibly have gotten onto Earth only recently. Imagine if you would, talking to someone with the less radical views of Michael Savage and blending it with the class of a John Barrymore and you have as a result created Barry Farber.

There are many of us out here who would wish that the P.D. at 77 would find the airtime to make Mr. Farber a host with a weekly schedule. I believe that the ratings at that station would be more than acceptable in order to pay the electric b
ill.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who Cares What Old Snake Says?

The question is who cares what old Snake says? Does it make any difference to anyone what I have to say? Does anyone even really read this stuff? Well, I often ask myself such questions. And sometimes the answer is something which makes me feel pretty good about life in general.

But there is a far more important reason to be doing what I do than to simply feel good about life. The importance about the legal ability to blog about anything in this world is something which should be self evident. It is not just about the situation between a company and a labor union. It is not just about the stock markets.

No! It is far more important than that. It is about the fact that freedom of speech cannot ever be permitted to be trod upon. One of the worst things that can happen to free men is that any should attempt to take away that God granted right of free men.

Just so that there is no confusion let it be understood that Snake Oil Sam places high value on that rights of free men. So when lawyers and governmental agencies and branches of government visit this blog and read what I have to say I am grateful.

And since the legal department at Quest Diagnostics has been spending hours lately reading just about everything on the blog I thought that it would be a good idea to say just a few words about the importance of free speech in the United States of America.

When I see that the United States House of Representatives is interested in what I have written on the subject of Quest Diagnostics and labor unions it seems appropriate to say a few words on the subject of freedom of speech. Perhaps you agree.

Yes, I am grateful for the fact that I have in some way managed to say something which has caught their attention. It is not important whether or not they like what I say or agree with what I say. The only thing which matters is that they recognize that I have the freedom to say the things which I say.

And when you get to the bottom line of the Serpents contract you begin to understand that no law is higher than the law set in place by the Creator of all mankind. No contract can separate man from God or God from man. No contract! A free man is free and a law unto himself.

So I can say that I am proud of all the people who read what I say here on this blog. Great and small, it is truth, all men are free. Free to write words. Free to read words. Free to hold an opinion. Free to express an opinion. Free to vote his or her conscience on all matters without regard to the aftermath or what others have to say.

Though all men be liars, let God be found true!

Domain Name house.gov ? (U.S. Government)
IP Address 143.231.249.# (Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives)
ISP Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Lat/Long : 38.8933, -77.0146 (Map)

Domain Name swmed.org ? (Organization)
IP Address 129.112.109.# (University of Texas)
ISP University of Texas
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Texas
City : Dallas
Lat/Long : 32.8326, -96.8467 (Map)

Domain Name (Unknown)
IP Address 70.136.116.# (Ameripath, Inc. - MPVC)
ISP SBC Internet Services
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Texas
City : Garland
Lat/Long : 32.9085, -96.6315 (Map)

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Bob Grant Returns to W.A.B.C. New York

Even though a ton of traffic has been visiting this blog lately due to my comments about Quest Diagnostics, a possible labor union and possible leveraged buyout, I simply must talk about one of the greatest personalities ever in radio, Mr. Bob Grant.

Apparently he is filling in for a regular evening host on W.A.B.C. and it is a joy to everyone hearing the voice of the master. Grant is one of the pioneers of the industry. It was Grant who taught smart little boys like Sean Hannity how to do radio when they grew up.

Yes it was Bob Grant who influenced Sean Hannity. He will be the first to admit that. And it was Snake Oil Sam who wrote a letter to the then 77 W.A.B.C. program director, John Mainelli praising Hannity, then a local and little known radio air talent.

In that letter to Mainelli I made the proposition that Sean was effectively up there shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Grey, Mr. Bob Grant and the Big Guy a.k.a. Limbaugh. Because of that letter of mine to Mainelli Sean got his big shot at national fame. The rest is history.

Yes, it was some two hundred and forty three months ago that I first became addicted to talk radio. That is a lot of words ago. And I have loved just about every minute of it. To hear Bob Grant back at the old homestead is heaven on earth.

The great thing about talk radio is that no matter how much you love someone there is always opportunity to disagree. And even though I am praising Grant I have to disagree with one of his comments.

He stated that having been in the industry long before the others, [current radio gods] had traveled down the pike that he; Grant had to deal with a fairness doctrine. But what Grant fails to recognize is that unlike the old fairness doctrine, and the then perceived goal, the new doctrine is not designed for any degree of fairness, it is designed to silence and shut down conservative talk radio.

Now I just know that if Bob were hearing me say this on his talk show he would let me have my say and then politely thank me for the call. Then he would in all likelihood say “Get off My Phone!”

Addendum: Oh how I long for the day.

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam


Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quest Diagnostics and a Buyout Puzzle

Apparently, according to one of my close sources, words of a buyout of Quest Diagnostics have been circulating for at least the last six months. I am told that a popular financial player had stated at least that long ago that Quest Diagnostics is primed for a buyout. I have referenced and linked on this blog to at least one source who would agree with that sentiment.

So since I was not aware of the fact allow me to clarify the record. First though let me humbly say that anything which I have written here might be
jumping the gun as related to the need to bring in a labor union in terms of any attempt to try and insulate employees from the shockwave of a hostile takeover, in the form of a leveraged buyout.

Perhaps there is something in the wind, perhaps not. But because of an attempt to unionize a department at the Teterboro Business Unit there are still questions which need to be answered by executive. There are still things to be said and issues to be addressed.

The supervisory team in the logistics department has been subtle in working their strategy in dealing with the matter. It still appears though that upper level of administration has been strangely silent. That could I suppose be attributed to a portion of the strategy that you don’t bring in the field goal kicker on the first down.

It might very well be that it is simply too early in the game to bring in the big guns. At this point in time it might only be necessary to utilize the lackey functionaries who at the moment seem quite content to remain separate from the propaganda machine. Perhaps the lackey’s have gone as far as switching loyalties. That is yet to be seen.

Someone once said that no person has entered so deeply into the bowels of hell that they cannot be saved by the grace of God. But even with grace sometimes knowledge is required before a person can reach out to receive that grace. Simply stated, grace is a gift offered and not a gift bestowed.

Sadly, apart from the supervisory strategy that knowledge is in short supply. And since the supervisory staff has an obligation to protect the department each individual supervisor might tend to follow their own line of reason in loyalty to the company.

In view of the fact that each supervisor has his or HER own sense of morality and integrity that individual might do things which not only violate the companies policies related to integrity, but might tend to mislead the individual employee as well.

In example, an employee might have serious concerns about a buyout. It might, rightly or wrongly, cause’ an employee to start to think that he needs a union representation in order to protect both himself and his fellow workers.

One supervisor might suggest that they have no knowledge at all about a possible buyout which takes that supervisor off the hook. The other supervisor might give the impression that SHE knows for fact that there is indeed a buyout in the works and that it is a good thing.

SHE might have suggested that it is in fact something being undertaken by a financial group headed by none other than former Quest Diagnostics C.E.O Ken Freeman a man who is considered by many to be a financial genius.

You will get no argument from me on that last statement. But to suggest that such a thing is the case is wrong if there is no truth to it. How is it that there is such a disparity between supervisory personnel?

One possibility is that the supervisor is simply grasping at straws. The other is that SHE has stated a known “fact” that no one is supposed to be talking about. That is possibly why executive is so strangely silent on the issue.

It’s like when you know that a great real estate deal is available and you don’t want to advertise it because if you do some other group might attempt to get in on the deal and cut into your potential profit or totally screw up the deal.

But then the factor of the union comes into the game and messes things up anyway. So how does one decide which is better for him or herself? If you decide that the rumored buyout is real than you must ask yourself if it is hostile and a threat to the current executive administration?

Is, on the other hand, a buyout as “suggested” by a supervisor, a friendly Ken Freeman type buyout which could only make things better through a complete financial realignment of a company which has always been fair to employees.

There is however a more difficult problem to answer. That is what if that union supported by enough signed union cards, which I understand is already in place, is voted down in a general vote? What if there is a hostile takeover after the vote is complete? It is reasonable to conclude that there won’t be enough people around next time for it to matter any longer.

This is why it is so important for executive administration to let the department employees know what the real story is. When they say get the facts before making a decision they are then obliged to provide those facts.

Executive administration cannot tolerate or permit supervisors to do nothing more than shovel loads of Bull Shit in order to dissuade the staff from considering a labor union. I don’t know if it might or might not be illegal from a labor board point of view. What I do know is that it is in opposition to the Quest Diagnostics code of integrity.

If you want to stay faithful to that code and if you want the logistics staff to have the facts which you ask them to get then please provide them. One of those facts is about the buyout issue.
Please allow me to offer timesaving assistance in that regard. Simply copy and paste the following letter as a response if it is in fact true in your view. Send it to Logistics so they can read “your” statement.

To All Employees of the Logistics Department of Quest Diagnostics Teterboro Business Unit:

Be assured that we understand your concern with the rumored buyout of Quest Diagnostics. The profitable, efficient and fair operation of this company is our main concern and a high priority. We remain dedicated to our employees. We sincerely hope that they will remain dedicated to us as well.

Even though it is the policy of Quest Diagnostics to not discuss issues related to the Market valuation of this company and the reasons for such valuation we want to assure you that we would never do anything in order to hide a factor which would cause any financial harm to any of our employees.

We fully expect to remain a strong, vibrant and successful company which will always look out for not only the shareholder but all of our employees as well. We will never do anything which places profit over people.

We as the members of the executive staff remain completely committed to the continued success of our company, your company, Quest Diagnostics, and believe that we in executive will remain in our current capacity as long as we continue to perform our assigned tasks in a professional manner.

We fully understand that our destinies are interlocked with yours and that we will always be available to all of you so that we can continue to communicate facts and share ideas for making this a great workplace.

We thank each and every one of our loyal employees for their dedicated service to Quest Diagnostics and recognize that without your loyal support we would not be the standout company which we are in our industry.

Thank you for your continued support and remember to always get the facts before making a decision!

Sincerely:

W.E.L.
And the entire senior leadership team.

P.S. Snake Oil Sam Rules!!!

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam
Steven A. Rubis, Owner and editor of Stock Research points out a few of the financial institutions which have shown interest in what this blog has to say about Quest Diagnostics.

He offers this comment: You state that Credit Suisse Canada has looked at my blog, but that is not the only investment firm. Lehman Bros, ABN Amro, Goldman Sachs, Paradigm Capital Management, LLC., and SEI Investments have glanced at the site as well.

Thanks for the input Steve.

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quest Diagnostics and Issues of Leveraged Buyout

Since there is talk of a leveraged buyout relating to Quest Diagnostics I thought that it might be a good idea to do a little research into just exactly how a leveraged buyout works the motor which drives it? What net results can be expected from it? Since I don’t expect much to be said about it at the Teterboro Business Unit it is important that all Quest Diagnostics employees become self educated on this issue.

Since it is clearly an issue which has such far reaching effect on all Quest Diagnostics employees I thought that it was worthy of research. I really don’t like to do a lot of research but fortunately for me and perhaps you as well, the good people at Wikipedia have an article on this very subject of leveraged buyouts.

I will place for your consideration several excerpts at the end of this article since they sort of jumped off the page at me. But if you are someone who like me does not fully understand the concept of a leveraged buyout and its far ranging and sometimes chilling effect, then you might want to take a few minutes to read about this subject of the leveraged buyout.

I have contained within this article a link to that information just in order to simplify your life. Yes, I’m just that sort of guy. Mr. Consideration. Just someone who is always thinking about the next person. A real company sort of guy. The kind of guy who holds open the door for the next person.

All that I can say is that if what is being stated in the
Wikipedia article about leveraged buyouts is accurate then a really good case can be made for the acceptance of a labor union at Quest Diagnostics not just for the logistics department of the Teterboro Business Unit but for every single employee of that company.

Teamsters are starting to look more appealing by the hour. How can that be? It is all a matter of perspective. Place them next to the current management and they aren’t so very pretty. But after looking at the Wikipedia information on this subject and the realization that a leveraged buyout might be in the near future, the teamsters look like a beauty queen.

Perhaps this leveraged buyout issue is why higher end of middle management has been so low key in fighting the union effort this time around the barn. Perhaps they believe that they have been betrayed by the top dogs and figure that they aren’t going to be around long enough to care anymore.

As a matter of fact I would go as far as to say that if I were basing my retirement upon the value of this company basing that investment upon historical perspective then I would be really nervous right about now. I would be demanding that the company tell me what is going on.

It shall be interesting to see how they respond to this and the last article
Quest Diagnostics Brave New World if in fact they do make any response at all. If and when they do I am sure that it will be a subtle response. W.E.L. I got to go do some important weekend stuff. W.E.L. not “inside” stuff, but outside stuff.

Leveraged Buyout

Historically, many LBOs in the 1980s and 1990s focused on reducing wasteful expenditures by corporate managers whose interests were not aligned with shareholders. After a major corporate restructuring, which may involve selling off portions of the company and severe staff reductions, the entity would likely be producing a higher income stream. Because this type of management arbitrage and easy restructuring has largely been accomplished, LBOs today focus more on growth and complicated financial engineering to achieve their returns. Most leveraged buyout firms look to achieve an internal rate of return in excess of 20%.


Failures

Some LBOs in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in corporate bankruptcy, such as Robert Campeau's 1988 buyout of Federated Department Stores and the 1986 buyout of the Revco drug stores. The failure of the Federated buyout was a result of excessive debt financing, comprising about 97% of the total consideration, which led to large interest payments that exceeded the company's operating cash flow. In response to the threat of LBOs, certain companies adopted a number of techniques, such as the poison pill to protect them against hostile takeovers by effectively self-destructing the company if it were to be taken over.

Addendum:

Interestingly an individual at a Quest Diagnostics server located at Quest Diagnostics Teterboro Business Unit entered this blog via a link which I placed at a cafepharma board. A board which I might add has driven tremendous amounts of traffic to this blog thank you very much.

Since the folks at Quest Diagnostics are pretty good at researching the web I wonder if they have already found this blogspot financial blog post on their own. If not please allow me to direct you and everyone else to some excellent research at “ResearchingStocks” since it sets up a good scenario as to why Quest Diagnostics is a takeover target.

I have never seen so many financial institutions looking at this blog. The one which really made me proud though was the financial group in Switzerland. They seem to be paying close attention to this takeover issue. Who knows, maybe they are the funding source.

IP Address 198.240.130.# (Credit Suisse Group / CANA)
ISP Credit Suisse Group / CANA
Location Continent : Europe
Country : Switzerland (Facts)
State/Region : Zurich
City : Zrich
Lat/Long : 47.3667, 8.55 (Map)

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Quest Diagnostics and a Brave New World!

Imagine if you will a dynamic company with employees wholly dedicated to both the company and the management team of that company. Then imagine the emotions which those employees must be feeling after learning of what is being seen as a likely buyout of that company. Or should I say likely sellout?

Yes, there are many factors to be considered by many different people involved or affected by this possible buy/sellout. First is the matter of how it will affect both upper and middle management.

Will any of that group remain in place of authority? The reason that is a significant question is that recently an executive of Quest Diagnostics asked that certain employees maintain faith in the company based upon the good faith offered in return by management. Indeed, a faith which would very possibly have prevented the success of a unionization move on that company.

But if that management were to vanish then where is the good faith? Of what value is such a thing? It is nothing more than an illusion. So how can the executive continue to ask for a pledge to something which might not in fact any longer exist?

Consider also that a portion of that letter made the specific point that many other companies would simply cut staff without mercy in order to meet a financial target. It sounded good at the time of its writing and in all fairness to the author of that letter; this buy/sellout issue might not have been paramount at the time of writing. It very well might have been an unrecognized factor at the time the letter was written.

But the fact remains that if a new management team enters stage left then there is nothing to suggest that they are not that theoretical company which values profit over people referred to in the letter.

If ownership or management changes hands the company will possibly remain Quest Diagnostics in name only. Clearly financial ownership precedes corporate philosophy. It might very well prove to be that bottom line administration without mercy.

Those who are considering a leveraged buyout of Quest Diagnostics, if indeed there is such an investment group, must consider that any hope of keeping a labor union out of the Teterboro Business Unit is dashed to pieces simply with even the suggestion that such a thing might be taking place.

Even if the effort of a possible leveraged buyout fails it is almost a guarantee that any vote by logistics to organize will prove at this point in time to be a done deal. If and when a labor union is admitted into the picture it will, in my estimation, only be a matter of time before it spreads throughout the entire business unit.

The only thing which has prevented such a thing as unionization up until this moment is that no one has been able to make a valid point that a union might be desirable and of benefit to all Quest Diagnostics employees.

That is not to even begin to suggest that I believe that a union is desirable or beneficial. It simply puts forth an item which demands consideration. It is simply a fact that it is up until now uncharted waters.

But one day someone opened up Pandora’s Box. Without going to lurid detail about that box it is well known that it brought upon the world all of what is evil in society today. And that box can no longer be closed. It might spread from business unit to business unit. It will feed upon the energy of uncertainty as to the future ownership of the company.

So anything which I might have stated to anyone before about the matter of a labor union gaining or not gaining entrance into Quest Diagnostics should, no must be weighed with this new set of buy/sellout factors in mind.

The horse has changed colors and anyone who has any interest in this matter had better understand that. Sadly it might be that executive has lost heart in the vision of a great company of world class status.

It might be that executive has realized that there in no benefit in attempting to fight the likes of United HealthCare and has found an option in which the top of the food chain can bail out with enough to be comfortable at the expense of the bottom feeders. “Not so much you understand, just enough to wet my beak.”

That is a very good formula for building strong loyalty to the brotherhood of a labor union. Unlike the last attempt in which management placed bars on the doors it appears that this time management is content to hold the door wide open for the union representatives as management exits and vacates the premises.

If that is the case then perhaps this elusive investment group might reconsider their side of the issue basing it upon some of the things which I have pointed out for your informed deliberation. The deal, if indeed such a deal does in fact exist, might not look so attractive to any investment group in view of mitigating circumstances.

Consider that what begins as a brush fire of perhaps one hundred fifty people who vote yes to a labor union could rapidly morph into forty thousand people saying union, yes! That is something which should be given serious consideration by any potential buyer before any ink hits any contract.

Since it is the policy of Quest Diagnostics to not discuss the market and valuation issues I can only assume that they will be unable to address this issue with logistics personnel. But unless and until the logistics staff fully understands what the hell is going on, then it is a pretty sure bet that the next sound heard in logistics will be many union cards being signed.
A leveraged buy/sellout of Quest Diagnostics might well be a done deal as has been suggested by more than a few managers, but on the other side of the coin it appears at this point that a labor union is also a done deal in the logistics department of the Teterboro Business Unit.

And for whatever it is worth, right or wrong, good or bad that is a fact. And as Sonny Bono and his lady Cher sang so many years ago, The Beat Goes On! Indeed it appears that it is going to be a brave new world at Quest Diagnostics!
Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Bad Hair Day at Quest Diagnostics

Perhaps one of the important questions being asked in the executive offices of Quest Diagnostics has until recently been “will a labor union manage to convince some individuals that they would be better off with union representation?” But in light of recent talk of a leveraged buyout of Quest Diagnostics that question might well have changed to “am I going to be around long enough to find out?”

That last question might well be asked by those seeking to bring in a labor union. Many questions arise in light of reporting at
Bloomberg Radio and Reuters News Group since they are running with a story that Quest Diagnostics is prime to be taken over.

What this represents in terms of the future of the company is clearly unclear to me and I am certain others as well. I suspect that much of this situation is in some way related to a decision of C.E.O. Surya Mohapatra to walk away from a long term contract with United Healthcare.

The net result of that action has been a significant loss in volume resulting in a number of internal readjustments and brushfires needing to be put out and a severe devaluation of stock price at that time.

But in reality the company seems strong and a good investment. Perhaps the fact that the stock had become so pathetically undervalued has set up this current buyout issue.

The question in my mind is does the company posses the wherewithal to prevent a leveraged buyout. I am certainly no investment maven but I would suspect that it would be a matter of buying enough of their own stock to make such leveraged buyout impossibility.

At least finding someone who is able to purchase enough stock to prevent it and at the same time remain dedicated to the current management, a management whom some blame for making shortsighted contractual decisions.

Then there is always the scenario that current management might simply say the hell with all of you, to hell with ungrateful union rat finks and every employee for whom we bent over backwards in order to protect the security of your job.

I sincerely hope that the latter is not being seriously considered by management since many inside of Quest Diagnostics still hold dear the vision and roadmap of Surya. I sincerely hope that the management of Quest Diagnostics conveys to any considering a union that disloyalty to their company just might factor into decisions being made by management, decisions that shall most certainly place staff in a den of wolves.

In order to conclude this inadequate article with some degree of respectability I will simply quote the words of a friend, an executive at Quest Diagnostics, who having far more insight on such matters might have been making a subtle statement to me while commenting on an issue which is unrelated to finance, without my recognizing it as such at that time.

[All business organizations morph in order to adjust to the market as the market is a great "discipliner".]

Freedom of Speech or Death
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2007
Contact Snake Oil Sam

Editors Note: Anyone wishing to express an opinion on this blog “Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review” is welcome to submit it for consideration through the Contact Snake Oil Sam e-mail link located at the end of each article! The publisher assumes no responsibility for the content or opinion of submissions and might or might not agree with the content of comment.

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