What Plexus Won’t Tell Us About its Outsourcing of Jobs

What the Plexus Case Says About Lack of Corporate Accountability for Job Creation

By Robert Kraig, executive director

On our most recent stop on our “Outsourced Wisconsin” tour last week of big corporations who are shipping our jobs overseas while taking public job creation dollars from the Walker Administration, we stopped at the global headquarters of the Plexus Corporation in Neenah.

Plexus has been controversial for the last couple of years for outsourcing more jobs than it is being paid to create by WEDC, Walker’s troubled jobs agency. WKOW TV’s Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann has done exceptional reporting both establishing the story and debunking slippery denials from Plexus on its outsourcing. Notably the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Politifact have fallen hook, line, and, sinker for the spin put out by Plexus, as Neumann exhaustively documents. The Department of Labor went as far as to update its original report, reconfirming that Plexus did indeed outsource Wisconsin jobs.

Our news event in front of the Plexus global headquarters last week produced another slippery denial from Plexus, and some pretty shoddy journalism by the Fox Valley media that reported it. 

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Citizen Action News Week of September 18th - 23rd, 2016

We are going to start providing a weekly updates of public activities and other major news. On this first edition we will go back a couple weeks to make sure you are caught up on major news since Labor Day. 

You can also keep up on breaking news on a daily or hourly basis on the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Facebook page.

Last Week

On Thursday (September 22) Citizen Action continued its “Outsourced Wisconsin” tour which is shining a light on corporations which took public money from Governor Walker’s ‘s scandal plagued jobs agency and outsourced more jobs than they created. The tour stopped in Neenah at the Plexus Corporation and in Wausau at Kohl’s. In both cities members turned out. Here is a link to the press release on the events. Listen to Citizen Action’s Executive Director Robert Kraig discuss the outsourcing tour on WFDL Radio.

On Wednesday (September 21) Citizen Action responded strongly to the Wisconsin Attorney General’s decision to join a lawsuit to overturn the Obama Administration's overtime rule. The rule would mean a pay raise of about $9,000 a year for nearly 200,000 Wisconsin workers. This important issue, including the local impact for every Wisconsin metro area, is explained in the Citizen Action press release here. Also, Citizen Action’s Executive Director Robert Kraig disussed the issue on the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Ideas Network Monday morning.

On the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Battleground Wisconsin Podcast this week (posted Friday September 23) we lead with more fallout from the John Doe document dump. With special guest Matthew Rothschild IRS complaints filed this week against the right-wing organization used by Scott Walker to shred our campaign finance laws during the recall elections. The podcast also looks at the CAFO controversy in Dunn County with Western Wisconsin Co-Op Organizer Jeff Smith) and the attack on the overtime rule. Listen to the podcast here

On Monday (September 19) Citizen Action Milwaukee Organizing Cooperative joined coalition partners an action against payday lenders in Waukesha.

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Outsourced Wisconsin Tour Visits Fox Valley & Wausau

Tour traveling Wisconsin to focus attention on corporate outsourcers who are taking public job creation dollars

Neenah & Wausau, WI: Advocates for good jobs continued their statewide tour of corporations which are outsourcing while taking public job creation dollars today in Northeast and Northcentral Wisconsin. Over 11,000 Wisconsin jobs have been outsourced over the last 5 years.

The first stop on the “Outsourced Wisconsin” tour today was the Plexus Corporation in Neenah. Plexus has been paid or promised $17 million by the Walker Administration's troubled jobs agency, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Plexus has created 74 jobs to date, but outsourced 116 jobs. This means Plexus has outsourced 42 more jobs than the public has paid it to create. Citizen Action members were joined at the Neenah event by State Rep. Amanda Stuck and Fox Valley Labor Council President Mark Westphal. (More information on the Plexus outsourcing record here)

The second stop on the “Outsourced Wisconsin” tour today was Kohl’s retail store location in Wausau. Kohl’s has been awarded $62.5 million in job creation tax credits by WEDC, but outsourced 67 accounts payable and sales audit jobs to India. Citizen Action was joined by local economic justice activists and Nancy Stencil, candidate for the 86th Assembly district. (More information on the Kohl’s outsourcing record here).

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“Outsourced Wisconsin” Tour Stops in Neenah at Plexus Today

Plexus took public job creation dollars and outsourced jobs

Following the recent revelation that over 11,000 Wisconsin jobs have been outsourced in the past five years, advocates for good jobs are conducting a statewide tour of corporations who are outsourcing while taking public job creation dollars. This Thursday the tour stopped in front of Plexus Corporation headquarters in Neenah, WI.

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Attorney General Moves to Block Pay Raise for Wisconsin Workers

New overtime rule would be an economic boon for Wisconsin

Statewide – Wisconsin has joined a group of states suing the U.S. Department of Labor over revised overtime rules that will raise wages for millions of workers. The rule is slated to take effect December 1. If the lawsuit is successful, workers across Wisconsin would be denied a much needed pay raise at the start of the holiday season.

The candidates in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate races also strongly disagree on the overtime rule, with Russ Feingold supporting it and Senator Ron Johnson opposing it.

If enacted, workers in every region of Wisconsin will be be rewarded for their hard work. When workers have more money in their pockets to spend in local communities, employment increases and prosperity expands. The economic impact of the overtime rule will be dramatic in every metro area of Wisconsin.

Table: Overtime bonus per average worker from new federal rule by metropolitan area

Metropolitan Area

Median Annual Wage, 2015 1

Average Weekly Overtime bonus, 47 hours 2

Average Annual Overtime Bonus, 47 hours/week 2




+$188 per week

+$9,776 per year





Green Bay








Eau Claire












Fond Du Lac








La Crosse

















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Ron Johnson Senate Hearing Today will Showcase Sabotage of Affordable Health Care

Witnesses include Walker Administration insurance bureaucrat who is part of efforts to undermine access to affordable health care in Wisconsin

Washington DC: This morning Senator Ron Johnson, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing on the state of health insurance markets. Observers of health policy expect the hearing to try and build support for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Senator Johnson, an arch opponent of guaranteed affordable health care, is expected to use the hearing to advance his desire to return to the days when insurance companies profited through discrimination based on preexisting conditions, age, and gender. Johnson will likely claim that big for profit insurance companies pulling out of ACA marketplaces is a reason to repeal health care reform, rather than for holding those highly profitable corporations accountable. At least one health insurance company is pulling out in retaliation for the Obama Administration enforcement of the nation’s antitrust laws.

One of the challenges in implementing the ACA continues to be conservative state officials who are willing to use their power to undermine access to affordable health care for their own constituents. These actions include rejecting coverage for low income residents and enabling for profit insurance companies to continue to profit by selling policies to healthy people and avoiding those with health conditions.

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Russ Feingold: A senator for regular folks

By Bill Kaplan

The most important congressional state race this fall is Democrat Russ Feingold vs. GOP U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. The winner could determine which political party controls the Senate. Johnson beat Feingold in the 2010 "wave" election, with low-voter turnout, after spending nearly $9 million of his own fortune. Moreover, the New York Times reports that Johnson is one of "the richest members of the Senate", wealth between $13.4 million and $60 million. Feingold's worth is between $328,000 and $795,000. It gets worse.

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Outsourced Wisconsin Tour Launched

Will travel Wisconsin to focus attention on corporate outsourcers who are taking public job creation dollars

Milwaukee: Following last week’s revelation that over 11,000 Wisconsin jobs have been outsourced in the past five years, advocates for good jobs launched a statewide tour on Thursday of corporations who are outsourcing while taking public job creation dollars.

The first stop on the tour is the Rexnord Corporation in Milwaukee. At a news event today community leaders detailed how Rexnord outsourced Wisconsin jobs at the same time it took millions in public job creation dollars from Governor Walker’s scandal plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Community leaders and advocates for good jobs wore hard hats emblazoned with a decal which plays off WEDC’s “In Wisconsin” logo changed to “Outsourced Wisconsin.” Speakers included AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale, WISDOM President Rev. Willie Brisco, former radio host Earl Ingram, and State. Rep. Daniel Riemer.

WEDC has for years refused to close loopholes that allow corporations to take public jobs money while outsourcing more jobs than they create.

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WEDC Sherman Park Fiasco Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg of Wisconsin’s Bankrupt Economic Strategy

Breaking Down the WEDC CEO’s Response to Citizen Action

By Robert Kraig, Executive Director

Last week Citizen Action of Wisconsin broke yet another scandal about fraudulent job creation claims by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the deeply troubled jobs agency created by Gov. Scott Walker early in his first term.

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Wisconsin Manufacturing Wages Declining

But Magnitude of the Decline Varies by Wisconsin Metro Area

Statewide: Leading into Labor Day 2016, Citizen Action of Wisconsin released data today which shows dramatically declining wages for Wisconsin manufacturing workers in every metro area.

Citizen Action was joined on a media call this morning by State Senator Dave Hansen, WI AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale, State Representative LaTanya Johnson, and State Representative Evan Goyke. (audio recording here).

Earlier this week, Citizen Action of Wisconsin showed that the outsourcing Wisconsin jobs is continuing at an alarming rate.

Another impact of rigged global trade and state economic development programs shown dramatically in the data released today is shrinking wages for jobs that remain in Wisconsin. 

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