Tour Stop: Mayline

This September, Citizen Action of Wisconsin announced a tour of companies that have outsourced jobs and received public money. Yesterday, 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 - Mayline Company, Sheboygan Wisconsin

Mayline Company has been the recipient of public funds from both Sheboygan County as well as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. According to WEDC's database, Mayline was awarded a $700,000 "economic development" tax credit. Additionally, as a manufacturer they will have been eligible for the state's recent "Manufacturer's and Agricultural Tax Credit", a credit that could still go to companies outsourcing large numbers of their employees. The problem is that in files obtained from the Department of Labor, Mayline has a history of outsourcing jobs. 

Mayline Company, an office furniture maker employing 220 people in Sheboygan, was certified by the Department of Labor in September 2011 as having 42 jobs outsourced. A full two months after the outsourcing was confirmed, WEDC awarded the $700,000 tax credit. 

But if this wasn't enough, in August of this year Mayline Company was announced purchased by Minneapolis based Safco. This comes a few years after the company threatened to leave Sheboygan completely, and a few months after the local union agreed to a deal they said would "grow the business and keep it here for years to come". Now it's future is up in the air.

And, as we've highlighted here, when another WEDC grantee Novation company sold their Milwaukee office to a West Coast company, WEDC publicly pledged to claw back the $664,000 in tax credits (but no proof that has happened, as highlighted in May WEDC has yet to successfully claw back any money). Yet this time, with the sale of Mayline to a Minnesota firm, WEDC has not even proposed clawing back these tax giveaways.

So once again, WEDC gives public taxpayer money to a company with a history of outsourcing; workers must agree to terms under threat of their jobs leaving completely, and when that company is sold to an out-state firm WEDC is unlikely to claw back those taxpayer dollars.

The State Legislators representing that district, Rep. Terry Katsma and Sen. Devin LeMahieu, both voted to keep allowing companies that outsource jobs to continue being eligible for public funding (2015 Assembly Vote 441, 2015 Senate Vote 84)

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