Janesville, WI – Workers at Hufcor Manufacturing will come together to demand that their plant stay open after the announcement by Los Angeles-based Open Gate Capital that they intend to ship production and over 150 jobs to Mexico. Workers at the facility proudly manufacture American-made room partition dividers for convention centers and other spaces. The Hufcor facility has been in Janesville for over 100 years, and many workers at the facility have over 20 years of service at the plant.
“I have 4 young children and a wife that depend on me to keep the power on and the fridge full,” said Jesse Arndt, one of the impacted workers whose job is on the chopping block if OpenGate moves forward with their plans to outsource her job. “If they send our jobs to Mexico, OpenGate is impacting whole families, not just their employees to save a few bucks.”
President of IUE-CWA Local 84811 Tom Casey said, “We will do everything in our power to fight for these jobs. The closing of the Hufcor Janesville plant not only affects these employees but also affects our local suppliers and businesses in the surrounding area. We need to keep good union jobs in our community. OpenGate Capital is promoting a race to the bottom to exploit low wages in Mexico. It’s a heartless strategy to squeeze profits over people.”
“When corporations desert a community, the hurt ripples across every part of civic life,” observed Roger Bybee, a Milwaukee-based journalist who’s written for decades about plant closings and relocations from southeastern Wisconsin. “When General Motors closed in Janesville at the end of 2008, the impact on the community was devastating. Agencies responding to mental health crises saw an almost three-fold increase in calls. Now in 2021, the Janesville community must confront whether it can afford the loss of nearly 200 family-supporting jobs being shipped off to Mexico.”