Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This Has NOTHING To Do WIth (D) Hegemony

It is merely coincidence. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

Briggs & Stratton Corp. said Wednesday it is closing its plant in Jefferson , eliminating 530 jobs at the facility that makes pressure washers and portable generators.

...Production at the Jefferson plant will be moved to other Briggs factories, including plants in Alabama and Georgia.

The Jefferson facility will be sold, said Laura Timm, a company spokeswoman.

Anyone who thinks, or even THINKS they think that this has anything to do with the anti-manufacturing/anti-business climate in Madistan is way, way, way off the mark.

That is all.

Resume your desperate search for good news about Wisconsin's jobs climate.


John Foust said...

Bring forth the evidence for what you suggested and it would make for a more interesting discussion about why B&S closed these plants.

If indeed a private company was suffering for a government-inspired reason, why wouldn't they be free to tell us? Might it ever mean that the company receives other government subsidy?

Here on the ground in Jefferson, I am familiar with a way that B&S efficiently used government subsidy. How did they deal with rapid demands in labor? They turned to temp agencies. Who did the temp agencies turn to? International student programs with wages subsidized by the Federal government. Over the last few years, Jefferson saw successive 90-day waves of dozens of international students from Thailand, Russia, Africa, South America. All would be promised jobs, but as temp workers, they'd arrive by bus and cab (!) from Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. They'd have no clue as to where to live, where to eat, even how to get to work. Corrupt student agencies around the world promised them housing and stipends that never materialized. Which landlord wants to rent month-by-month in a town this small? Last summer during the floods, Jefferson's two temp-living motels were on the other side of the water - meaning a trip to work was a 30-minute roundabout drive. How do you do that without a car? Students were found wandering the city lost after midnight, unable to find their way back to their lodging. Students were found in tears in Johnson Creek, lost without language and knowledge of how to get from place to place in a land without public transportation. Students without adequate clothing for winter. These weren't uneducated manual laborers... these were generally grad students. B&S eagerly let students to work before they had their paperwork in order, meaning many couldn't get paid until they took a day off to try to find a way to get to a Social Security office in Waukesha or Madison. B&S routinely used this kind of labor that leaned on the good graces of a community unaccustomed to seeing such obvious human suffering. B&S pointed at the temp agencies, who pointed to the student programs. I met one set of students who were told by the temp agency to take a cab from Madison to Baraboo to get to their job. Once they paid $150 for that trip and walked into the plant, they were told to return to Madison as there were no jobs available. I know, in the scheme of things, these sufferings are smaller than others... but this is how B&S found labor.

For years, B&S/Generac was known for bringing in busloads of workers from adjacent counties due to labor shortages.

John Foust said...

Like magic, a newspaper article appears that explains B&S's view of the closings. So you think there's a reason they can't mention the terrible influence from Madistan?

Dad29 said...

John Shiely wrote an article for the Milwaukee JS, published a couple of years ago, detailing his thoughts on Gummint in Wisconsin.

While this post does not articulate my view, on another blog I opined that 'there is a cumulative effect' which inspires a plant closure of this magnitude.

As to LifeStyles--they've been a schlockshop since the 1970's, just like the "foreign agencies" which pulled that crap.

B&S erred in using that dump. Their bad.

John Foust said...

Cumulative effect of what? Editorials? What's preventing B&S from mentioning unfavorable government policies, if indeed that's any part of their rationale?

The next domino to fall in Jefferson will be the Tyson / Stoppenbach pepperoni plant. Too old to renovate, and no business reason to keep it here.

Maybe you should've blamed it on Al Gore for not creating enough hurricanes last season. That would've generated Pavlovian applause.