Tour Stop: Johnson Controls

This September, Citizen Action of Wisconsin announced a tour of companies that have outsourced jobs and received public money. Last week, we unveiled a live map of tour stops as we highlight where these companies are in our state. Click here for that map.

Today, we add a new company - Johnson Controls, Glendale & Hudson

While covered elsewhere for outsourcing of jobs yet receiving public money, it is worth adding to the list for a few reasons. First, Johnson Controls has yet to return the money given to them by WEDC as far as anyone knows (they have been awarded over $3.7 million by WEDC since March 2014), and because the company was only just formally certified as having outsourced jobs last month in September. Now, without a shadow of a doubt we know that WEDC has given public money to a company both with a history of outsourcing but actively doing it again only a year later.

As reported in 2015 by WKOW channel 27 in Madison: "On November 17, 27 News reported WEDC awarded Johnson Controls with $1 million in tax credits for the creation of 266 jobs at the [Milwaukee Business Center in Glendale], the same location where all of the 277 employees currently working will soon be let go."

Furthermore, as we've documented elsewhere, the sweeping Manufacturer's Tax Credit (of which Johnson Controls would benefit from) allows the company to reduce corporate income taxes on manufacturing to almost zero EVEN IF they outsource jobs.

There have been attempts to fix both the WEDC outsourcing loophole and the Manufacturing Tax Credit outsourcing issue, including Senator Dave Hansen's (D-Green Bay) legislation in 2015 that would have prevented any company outsourcing jobs from receiving state funds of any kind, including Johnson Controls. Sadly, this bill has not yet been seriously considered. 

The State Legislators representing the Glendale district where these jobs were lost from, Rep. Mandela Barnes and Sen. Lena Taylor, both voted to STOP allowing companies that outsource jobs to continue being eligible for public funding; while those representing the Hudson location, Rep Dean Knudson & Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, Voted AGAINST ending public funds to outsourcers (2015 Assembly Vote 441, 2015 Senate Vote 84). Meanwhile, across the street, the district represented by Rep. Jim Ott and Sen. Alberta Darling, both voted to KEEP allowing companies that outsource jobs to continue being eligible for public funding. 

Johnson Controls has a history of outsourcing from other places too - including Hudson in 2011 and Watertown in 2004. Legislators from Hudson, Rep Dean Knudson & Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, both voted AGAINST ending public funds to outsourcers

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