Skip to comments.Gibson Guitar Corp. Responds to Federal Raid (Claims DOJ wants wood finished in India)
Posted on 08/27/2011 6:58:18 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., has responded to the August 24 raid of Gibson facilities in Nashville and Memphis by the Federal Government. In a press release, Juszkiewicz said: “Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rights. Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of ANY wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.”
The raids forced Gibson to cease manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day while armed agents executed the search warrants. “Agents seized wood that was Forest Stewardship Council controlled,” Juszkiewicz said. “Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC-certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards.”
Juszkiewicz believes that the Justice Department is bullying Gibson without filing charges.
“The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.”
To read the entire press release, click here.
I was afraid I was going to have to blame this on Bush but...
He vetoed the Farm Bill that this expansion was attached to. Twice! (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.)
Bush's veto was overridden by congress.
Yep. Guitar players can truly blame the democrats for this mess. For the record, I am the proud owner of two fantastic, American-made Gibson electric guitars.
If I was at my lathe, and a black-clothed character came into the shop and looked threatening ... well hell ... I'm in the gun industry and I'm bein' attacked ...
Yeppers ... time to open carry in the work place.
Anything to destroy American business.
This IS the POS we have in the White House.
Just part of his laser focus on destroying American jobs.
Really nice, forced outsourcing ! Jobs that can be done by Americans are sent overseas and the liberals are against it but their action forces it ! What is said and done are two different things. Forget words, what are the results of their legislation ? That should be examined !
Probably some favor for one of Obama’s foreign buddies.
Personally, I think there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. I suspect some very immoral attitudes from the DOJ.
For a bit of humor on this, see the following:
New Scandal at DoJ as Illegal Guitars End Up In Hands of Mexican Drug Lords: http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/08/new-scandal-at-doj-as-illegal-guitars-end-up-in-hands-of-mexican-drug-lords.html
I wonder which of their competitors is paying Obama.
Here’s more on the situation:
Gibson Guitar CEO on Obama DOJ Raids: Were Being Persecuted
What the effingeff????????????
The DOJ is taking police action to enforce INDIAN law? With no actual complaint or petition from India?
WHAT THE F???????????????????
Maybe next the DOJ will say I can't drink a beer not made to Irish or German laws?
Did they have a search warrant? Were they filing any arrest?
CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE THEM ARRESTED
Calling him a POS is being kind
Way too kind.
Holder’s DOJ is busy going after a guitar maker for using “illegal wood,” but they can’t seem to figure out how thousands of semi-auto rifles were walked into Mexico.
We’re through the looking glass, Alice.
“”The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Departments interpretation of a law in India.””
Exactly! This wood was considered legal by the authorities of India....and all the necessary documentation to prove it so was accepted by US Customs. There is quite ANOTHER motivation at work in the DOJ......AND NO other company using the same wood is subject to any such investigation/raid.
Rosewood, swamp ash, and Michigan rock maple, this is what a great guitar is made of. WTF?!?! Who cares where the raw materials come from? As long as someone is selling good raw materials, we’re buying. If they can’t get over that fact, they need to get out of the way.
Incremental yet serving the progressive agenda.
When we get back the three branches of government we need to be on those in positions to FIX what’s wrong with a vengeance. We win it is time to get so aggressive it will scare folks like me that ask for such repair an reform of such BS laws an policies.
Gonna go play a tune on my old Kalamazoo built Gibson now....:o)
Stay safe an vote with your dollars between elections.
Reason enough to boycott Gibson there.
Ding~! Ding~! Ding~! WE HAVE A WINNER~!!!
Thanks for playing
Evidently Gibson is not on the campaign donation list, or the union list. Remember this administration thinks it gets to pick and choose who gets to stay in business in this country.
I love Gibson guitars. Own a bunch of ‘em. I wonder if this is somehow payback for the Gibson lawsuits of Japanese manufacturers from the ‘70s and the Paul Reed Smith suit of a few years ago. While making some of the very best guitars, Gibson can be kind of snotty at times.
Let’s see. Gibson’s main facility is located in the South (Nashville), the Gibson guitar is an American icon, and I’ll bet Gibson is non-union.
I agree ....and I think the American people need to make a BIG noise about this.
The changes that have taken place in the DOJ during Obama’s administration are utterly despicable and are the antithesis of JUSTICE!
“...and Ill bet Gibson is non-union.”
Tennessee is a right-to-work state. ;-)
Juszkiewicz and Berryman bought the failing Michagan company in 1986 for $5 million. It had sales that year of $5 million. Over the years the company has expanded its product lines by purchasing other companies. For example: Gibson owns Baldwin. Current sales are near $500 million and half of those sales are exports. Obama and his Marxist buddies must be pissed over this Capitalist success.
There is something else that is very fishy too. Last year Gibson was rated by Glassdoor.com as the #1 worst employer in the nation. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/21/worst-companies-to-work-f_n_397565.html?&slideshow#comments ) This is BS. No CEO in his right mind would want to piss off the experienced artisan instrument makers the company needs. Auto Zone was #4. Im a Auto Zone customer and Im certain the very helpful employees here are not unhappy. In addition, Juszkiewicz has raved about the help and cooperation he got from employees after the Nashville plant was flooded last year.
In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in the case United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms. Juszkiewicz says the wood is worth a half million dollars. There has been NO civil or criminal case filed by the Justice Dept.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service picked a fight with the wrong guy. He wont roll over and play dead... He enrolled at the General Motors Institute in Flint, MI, a five year co-op engineering college. Sponsored by GMs Delco division, he gained experience in a variety of different jobs at Delcos 6,000-employee electronic components plant in Rochester. Putting his musical skills to work, he worked his way through school playing guitar - a Gibson, of course - in various rock bands playing for parties and weddings.
After graduating with honors, he worked at Delco Products for two years as product manager while studying for an MBA in night school at the University of Rochester. He completed his MBA at Harvard University on a General Motors Fellowship.
Juszkiewicz then joined the New York firm of Neiderhoffer, Cross and Zeckhauser, Inc., a pioneer in the area of middle-market deals, where he rose to the position of executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He left the firm in 1981 and, with two former Harvard classmates (David Berryman and Gary Zebrowski), acquired Phi Technologies of Oklahoma City. Within one month he turned the struggling technology firm into a highly profitable company.
The DOJ staged the raid using the excuse that Gibson was using wood from Madagascar which was on the endangered list.
Gibson's side is that wood was obtained legally.
By Indian law, the wood had to be finished in India.
The wood wasn't finished in India.
The DOJ raided the workplace with officers armed with automatic weapons.
The DOJ in effect, is upholding by use of armed force, Indian labor laws.
My humble opinion is that this was not a criminal matter, but an issue that should normally have been argued as a violation of trade laws, handled in a civil court situation.
And Tennessee is a right-to-work state, doncha know. That's reason enough to shut down the factories there. Any excuse will do!
Hmm, I wonder if the NLRB has yet investigated Boeing for plans to use illegal Indian wood at the proposed South Carolina facility? I mean, even airplanes have SOME wood in them!
This has nothing to do with the wood. This is 100% about the fact that Gibson is the ONLY U.S. guitar manufacturer that is not located in a forced-unionization state.
The best guitars are made with mahogany bodies and maple caps, with an ebony fingerboard and headstock veneer.
You might know them as Les Pauls ;)
Swamp ash Teles and Strats are sure nice too though.
“By Indian law, the wood had to be finished in India.
The wood wasn’t finished in India”
According to the interview I heard with the Gibson CEO....this wood was documented as being perfectly legal for sale/export. That documentation was also accepted as legal by US Customs.
This basically means that the DOJ is interpreting Indian law differently than India does.
I've seen the glassdoor poll and I don't know if Gibson is a company I'd want to work for. I've read that Henry J. is very much not an easy boss.
However, as a guitar player, Gibson, under Henry J.'s helm, has consistently produced the best guitars since the fabled Ted McCarty era of the 50s-60s --the era that produced Gibson's most iconic instruments.
Very interesting interview. I didn’t realize the feds also raided Gibson in 2009. They seized $500k worth of wood and are still holding it despite Gibson having never been charged for anything. Gibson is still in court fighting that one.
The Gibson prez says nearly all guitar companies use Indian rosewood fingerboard blanks yet Gibson is the only company that’s been raided. The host speculates that it might be the result of political donations or Gibson being a non-union shop and he replies that either might be possible. That tells me he’s contributed to Republicans and has gotten on the regime’s enemies list. You roll it all together — the union angle, the environmentalist angle, the political angle — and Gibson apparently makes an irresistibly juicy target.
How about Fender, of California, with their Union shop
The CEO alluded to rumors he heard that this might be political payback? Other guitar companies are using the same exact woods and none of them have been raided nor targeted. Why is obamma sending his thugs to shakedown this company?
“You roll it all together the union angle, the environmentalist angle, the political angle and Gibson apparently makes an irresistibly juicy target.”
Except that THIS target is going to fight back.....and I believe many Americans will support that. What has been taking place in this administration, particularly among the radical appointees and especially in the DOJ is unprecedented...and dangerous in a free society. And our free society is finally waking up...
Man, forgot about the LP’s. I kind of had a fondness for the SG’s too.
You’d buy a Gibson Guitar for “Made in USA”, and that would never include a fretboard “Finished in India”.
Maybe the Feds will next start executing muslims that convert to another religion since it’s illegal somewhere.
Police states really suck. I never thought that I’d live to see the day that America would become one. I thought we were better people than that.
“has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace
Reason enough to boycott Gibson there.”
That’s NOT a decision Gibson has the latitude to make.
1: Remember who their most visible clients are. The list of rockers doing full page ads for them is Riddled with brain dead leftists.
2: It’s an ugly situation all the way around for Gibson, & any other Guitar company. The rules & regs on acquiring wood for their product are a nightmare, and they Have to play footsie with those kooks.
Selling $3500 Les Pauls isn’t a walk in the park.
And personally, I’d rather see those woods turned into Gibsons than what the locals would do with them otherwise, which is clearcut, burn, or make cheap furniture out of them.
I’m not making Any excuses for the Greenpeace & Rainforest morons, but Guitar builders don’t have any choice. If they came out and took a principled, public stand on the stupidity of the Eco Nazis, they’d be Flamed out of business in the R&R trade rags over night.
when the Obama’s called looking for their campaign cash for 2012...the Gibson boys were supposed to put out...NOT be put out.....Holder will help them see the light
All this Gibson talk and no eye candy? (Not mine!)
You have to wonder how many people who own and enjoy Gibson guitars voted for this corrupt Ubama regime.
I still own and play my Univox copy of that guitar, which I bought off a friend in 1972.
By the way, I do have the original pick guard (which is not shown on the guitar pictured).
Not a Gibson, by Gibson-styled, which I made. LP jr, with a Lollar P90, one-piece honduran mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard and headstock cap (which is not normal on jrs, they used to just paint them black), mother-of-pearl marker dots, CTS pots, and a Tone-Pros wrap-around bridge.
Sustains for days...