Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wisconsin righties keep failing on outsourcing, wage issue

As each day goes by, the backfire of Scott Walker's desperate anti-Trek ad becomes more obvious. In addition to the idiocy of a pro-free trade governor trying to have it both ways on the outsourcing issue, it has drawn more attention to the corrupt Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Walker donors who received tax breaks from WEDC, and the increasingly absurd justifications of pro-Walker corporates. WKOW Channel 27 in Madison has been at the forefront of calling out Wisconsin outsourcers and their connections to WEDC, including their bombshell from early this month when they revealed Neenah's Plexus Corporation took millions in WEDC tax credits, and then outsourced over 100 Wisconsin jobs. And oh yeah, Plexus employees also gave tens of thousands of dollars to Walker's campaign. When Plexus tried to talk their way out of it, Channel 27 caught them in numerous lies, and laid the smack down yesterday.

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Here's probably my favorite sequence, where Plexus has already been caught in Lie Number 1, which claims the job losses were due to losing Juniper Networks as a customer (which they did, but it was several months after the layoffs), and they try to explain themselves to Channel 27.
"The reduction of 116 employees you reference in your article was unrelated to the disengagement with our largest customer but was the result of a decrease in production orders for other products. The work associated with this reduction in force remains in Wisconsin," wrote Susan Hanson, Marketing Communications Manager for Plexus.

But the TAA decision from the Department of Labor (DOL) seems to refute that statement. In its decision, DOL points out TAA benefits were ultimately awarded to those 116 former employees because "the workers firm has shifted to a foreign country the production of an article like or directly competitive with the article produced by the workers that contributed importantly to worker group separations at Plexus."...

Plexus announced the layoffs of those 116 workers just one week after releasing a report in which company CEO Dean Foate noted the company's 2012 3rd quarter earnings of $609 million represented a "record revenue level for the company."
Can you imagine if the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was ever allowed by their corporate masters to call out obvious lies like this? Hey, a guy can dream, right?

But some Wisconsin corporates are still trying to explain that outsourcing is merely a necessary evil, and not an outgrowth of corporate greed. Check out today's press release from CEO Kurt Bauer of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (aka WisGOP's main non-Koch corporate puppetmasters).
...manufacturing production costs in the U.S. are 20 percent higher, excluding labor, than in other industrialized nations, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

If the goal is to reduce the number of outsourced Wisconsin manufacturing jobs, then lower the costs of production for Wisconsin manufacturers, including taxes, regulations, energy, health care and frivolous lawsuits.

The key question not being asked in this outsourcing debate is which candidate for governor supports reducing the costs of production in Wisconsin, like the Manufacturers’ and Agricultural Production Tax Credit that protects literally thousands of Wisconsin factory and farm jobs.”
That's right, WMC says if you don't want any more outsourcing, then reduce wages to $20 a day and allow as much pollution and worker abuse as possible! Just turn Wisconsin and the rest of the US into a third-world country and there won't be a problem! Of course, I'm betting WMC execs don't plan to be among those Wisconsinites that would lower their standards or pay a price in any way shape or form. In fact, they'll likely steal the extra profits to double their salary, just like Plexus's executives did in the last 4 years.

The more these righties talk, the more people wake up to the scam of free trade. So please corporate slime, keep on talking, because it's making the election of Mary Burke and more Wisconsin Dems in the Legislature and Congress all the more likely.


  1. Solid post, Jake. The Journal Sentinel drives me nuts every time it writes about the "Burke outsourced jobs" issue. At the very best, it tends to report that Burke also complained about Walker outsourcing jobs. But her complaint is never the main subject of any story. Imbalanced reporting. I get the distinct impression the paper's editors have, behind the scenes, bought into the Walker administration's arguments and believe the Burke claim is overstated or false, but they totally ignore the depth of WKOW's reporting on the matter. To the paper's credit, an editorial dinged Walker on his own Burke outsourcing claims, but apparently the editors think staying mostly silent about Burke's far more substantive claims reflects "balance."

    1. I'm not sure the J-S owners have bought into the Walker mentality, more than they may have been bought off by the prospect of huge Walker and right-wing ad money.

      But the bias, especially in what they choose NOT to report (they're about the only media that won't bring up this WEDC- outsourcing connection). We need to keep on them

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