On March 16, 2006, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, in an editorial entitled "Fix Workers Comp", once again blamed workers' compensation for the upstate economic woes and the downfall of Delphi, the upstate manufacturer of auto parts. What a bunch of hogwash! I guess the editors didn't read (or purposely ignored) the Associated Press report of the same day indicating that manufacturers across New York State are reporting their best financial results in years. In fact, the report was so strong that it was partly responsible for pushing the S & P 500 Index over the 1,300 mark for the first time in almost five years.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York publishes the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, a monthly survey of manufacturers across New York State that measures their financial health. This is "gold standard" information that moves stock markets, as it did on Wednesday. This information refutes the propaganda put out by the Business Council of New York State, and apparently believed by the Rochester Democrat, that workers' compensation is hurting the upstate manufacturing economy. It also undercuts the Governor's political pandering blaming workers compensation costs for the Delphi bankruptcy. For the real reasons for the Delphi debacle, click here. Hint - it's not about workers' comp!
Bottom Line - manufacturers are doing better than they have in a long time in New York State. Things are looking up! Of course they would like to "manufacture" an artificial workers' comp crisis to increase profits. That's how CEO's get paid these days. It's profits - not corporate integrity or loyalty to their employees - that govern the outrageous executive compensation packages at Delphi. Perhaps we should not be surprised by the newspaper's slanted position, unsupported by the facts. After all, newspapers are profit hungry employers too!