Punked by Timken


Monday night's Cavs game against the Houston Rockets was totally F-ed up. I'm not talking about the way LeBron totally punked down Rockets forward Chuck Hayes during a jump ball, leading the Cavs to a 91-85 victory. I am talking about is the rotating banner beneath the scorer's table — an undecipherable set of Chinese characters, brought to you by none other than the Timken Company of Canton. According to a Timken press release, the sign translates to "Bearings — Steel — Industrial Services," the company's new slogan. The reason it was in Chinese? Monday night's game was broadcast in China. Knowing that an appearance by Houston's Yao Ming promised a huge Chinese audience, Timken used the broadcast as a chance to reach the Eastern market. Obviously, Timken didn't take into consideration that it was "reaching out" on the very turf it has forsaken. For the past three years, the ball bearing company has been very busy screwing over local workers. Since 2004, Timken has closed three of its Canton plants and slashed over 2,000 jobs. The lay offs began just after President Bush made a stop at a Canton plant in 2003, promising that his No. 1 goal was protecting American manufacturing jobs. In fact, the only job that Bush has kept safe is that of CEO William Timken, who donated over $800,000 to his 2004 presidential campaign. In return, Bush awarded Timken with over $50 million in government subsidies. He also appointed him the U.S. ambassador to Germany. The following year, Timken slashed another 700 Canton jobs. Based on the banner at Monday night's game, you certainly don't have to wonder where they went. —Denise Grollmus


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