A Wakarusa, Ind., couple worked over 30 years each for Holiday Rambler/Monaco Coach Corp. because they received good pay and benefits, were treated fairly and took pride in their work, they told the Elkhart (Ind.) Truth.
That is why Kathy and Ron Berkey stayed with the company despite the uncertainty associated with ownership changes, the Truth reported.
Ron Berkey, 70, retired from Monaco two years ago after 32 years, most recently in quality control at Monaco towables plants.
Meanwhile, Kathy Berkey, 60, continues to work in sales for Monaco in Wakarusa, a village located about 15 miles south of Elkhart, Ind., and about 10 miles west of Goshen, Ind.
Holiday Rambler was founded during the early 1950s by RV industry legend Richard Klingler, who sold his company to motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc. at the end of 1986.
Monaco, based in Coburg, Ore., acquired Holiday Rambler in 1996 and Monaco continues to build and market the Holiday Rambler brand of motorhomes and towable RVs. Monaco’s operations in Wakarusa and Elkhart are about the same size as its operations in Oregon.
When Kathy Berkey began working for Holiday Rambler in 1971, she was one of 30 office workers, but now she is one of 300 to 400, she told the newspaper. Computers, fax machines and modern copiers have made her job easier, she said.
Ron Berkey said the most beneficial changes in the production method during his career were the introduction of air-powered tools, which replaced electric drills and screw guns, and the air pads that allow a small number of workers to move a motorhome down the assembly line. In the past, it took 30 to 40 people to make such a move, he said.