In a few short weeks, over 160 hardworking Steelworkers at Joerns Healthcare will leave their plant for the last time. After years of producing the highest quality hospital furniture in the industry and making millions of dollars in profit for the company, Joerns is closing its doors in order to move production to Mexico.
On Monday, outside of the Joerns facility in Stevens Point, displaced workers were joined by community members to speak out on the impact the plant closure will have on their lives and the local economy. Participants also encourage their elected leaders to support the Bring Jobs Home Act.
“When good, middle class jobs leave our community, we all suffer,” said George Peretz of Stevens Point who has worked at Joerns for 27 years. “I am going to lose my job due to outsourcing and sadly, I am not alone. Some 6 million people have suffered the same fate, and with the recent closing of 50,000 American firms, more jobs have been lost in the last decade than during the entire Great Depression. This July 4th, let’s recommit to making things in America and bring good jobs home.”
At the event, workers and community leaders called on elected officials to support policy solutions to rebuild the local economy and stop the export of good jobs overseas, such as fair trade policies and the elimination of a wide range of tax incentives that encourage business to relocate production and profits overseas.
The Bring Jobs Home Act is a federal bill which will end incentives for corporations who send jobs overseas and reward employers who keep jobs in the U.S. The U.S. Senate is expected to begin debate on the Bring Jobs Home Act in July.
“We have the talent and the skilled workforce to compete with anyone anywhere in the world if we have a level playing field,” said Maury King, President of USW local 333U. “Strong policies, like the Bring Jobs Home Act are essential if we want our economy to grow and our families to succeed. We can only rebuild our economy and our middle class when politicians stop rewarding companies that outsource jobs, create trade agreements that protect workers’ rights and prevent currency manipulation so that jobs stay in our country.”
“Our economy is still in jeopardy and we need Congress to take immediate action to put an end to all the policies that encourage corporations to export good jobs overseas,” said Micheal Bolton, Director of USW District 2. “Wisconsin manufacturing has been hit hard by outsourcing. We cannot continue to lose good paying jobs to China and Mexico and expect to have a strong, middle class economy. We need to end the unfair trade deals and give companies incentives to keep jobs here, so American workers can support their families.”
This Independence Day, as we reflect on the true meaning of July 4th, let us celebrate America by calling on our elected leaders to support the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would stop U.S. corporations from taking a tax deduction for their moving expenses when they ship jobs overseas, and instead give them a tax credit for bring jobs back to America. This is a good first step in a comprehensive plan to stop incentives for offshoring and rebuild our country’s economic future.
Local Media Coverage
Wausau Daily Herald, Unions Hold Rally to Protest Joerns Healthcare closing
Stevens Point Journal, Unions Hold Rally to Protest Joerns Healthcare closing
Marshfield Herald, Unions Hold Rally to Protest Joerns Healthcare closing
WAOW Channel 9, Joerns Employees angry over outsourcing
WSAU News Talk, Workers rally for jobs bill outside joerns healthcare
My Fox Wausau, Joerns Employees Angry over Outsourcing
Wispolitics, Joerns Closing Highlights need for Bring Jobs Home Act