- Capitalism and Alternatives -
Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on August 03, 1999 at 18:18:45:
Found the following at a site about Bhopal. The Interview is with Edmardo Alejandro Munoz, a former director of Union Carbide,a dn their chief in India when the Bhopal factory was built. I'll let youse read the whole thing, because its interesting, I just want to highlight a couple of illuminating points that the interview reveals about how a capitalist business is run...
EM: Well, [Their HQ- RD]they have, they are very aloof about it, I mean you know they--in Park Avenue what we have is lawyers and MBAs, I mean you know--nobody knows anything about building plants or engineering or anything, and they allow the engineers to have free reign on what they do, I mean really. So engineers, the engineering department in Charleston is sort of Mafia very inbred group of buddies that are very jealous of their perogatives and do the things the way they want and this scenario with the foreign companies have very little to say, as you know the foreign affiliates have very little to say. If they want South Charleston to build the plant they have to sort of accept the ways of choice and operate it. Operate it, I don't say I don't know if they
operate the same way today, I hope not. At that time they have, they have their, they were pretty authoritarian.
A good illustration of the way in which the top management aren't really in charge, and realy, perhaps don't deserve their obscene pay. Further, though, the interview illustrates the way in whci capitalist firms are prone to the same empire building as all fiscally-budget based bureaucracies...
EM: Well, look, one part of the thing is that we did have a big tank in Charleston, so we need big tank in any where else. You know, what's good for Peoria is good for Bhopal and etc., etc. I mean why is, that would be one philosophy, the other is that an engineering department engineers the project manager, etc. Everybody's salary is based on the amount of money they spend.... the more money you have to spend, the more people you have reporting to you, etc., the bigger your salary. And part of that is that Charleston loves big projects. The bigger the better.
Hence why they decided to build a plant that could store tonnes of chemicals the plant didn't need, and costs $10 million, rather than the $2 million the plant managers wanted to have.