“Can you imagine a federal agent saying, ‘You’re going to jail for five years’ and what you do is sort wood in the factory?” said [Gibson CEO Henry] Mr. Juszkiewicz, recounting the incident. “I think that’s way over the top.” Gibson employees, he said, are being “treated like drug criminals.”
Update: August 11, 2012: This week, Gibson Guitars was forced to settle with the Justice Department. They did nothing wrong, were never charged with anything, and there was no trial.
Unfortunately, when the government decides to shut down a company for inexplicable reasons, there is nothing the company can do.
In the case of Gibson Guitars, it cost $2.4 million in legal fees and their materials, worth a million dollars plus, were never returned. While this government abuse was going on, the company could not import the wood they needed to make their fret boards.
The settlement with the Justice Department cost them $350,000 but they had to do it to stop the bleeding.
The government told them that if they had the fret boards made in India instead of the United States, they would have no problem. Talk about outsourcing!
It is time to be afraid people.
Original Story: August, 2011: Please sign this petition to save Gibson Guitars. If we, as concerned citizens, ban together on this issue, we can make a difference.
In case you don’t know what is going on, Gibson, a great U.S. company, is in danger of being shuttered without cause and the consequences go far beyond Gibson Guitars.
Pretend you are a guitar maker.
Now pretend you are a guitar worker in a factory, stringing a fretboard, when, suddenly, federal agents bang through the doors and yell, GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR, GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR… FEDERAL AGENTS. Now pretend you look up and find yourself looking down the barrel of a gun. You are facing your mortality over a fretboard. You have a family, you think about your husband, wife, children, mother, and you aren’t even getting rich from this job.
This isn’t pretend unfortunately, it’s for real, and it’s the result of an errant environmental police brigade.
Raid on Gibson Guitars in August, 2011