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.
We also have a new feature with the map, a live count since Walker announced in 2014 he was in favor of ending public funds going to companies that outsource jobs (yet nothing has been done!)
Today, we add a new company - Thermo Fisher Scientific, Two Rivers and Milwaukee
Thermo Fisher Scientific is an "American multinational, biotechnology product development company" that has operations across Wisconsin. It has over 1,200 employees in Wisconsin, and in Two Rivers it has had a presence for "more than 130 years". Which makes it all the more upsetting that we have allowed our state government to be lulled into providing special tax giveaways to a company that has outsourced jobs.
In 2012, Thermo Fisher was certified as outsourcing 249 jobs from its Two Rivers site and 43 from its Milwaukee site, going to companies like Mexico and Lithuania. And, on top of that, the company is still eligible for the 2011 "Manufacturers Tax Credit" that reduces the company's corporate tax liability to nearly zero, a massive special tax giveaway that has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars with little to show for it.
It is clear, in the case of Thermo Fisher Scientific, that outsourcing is a problem that state action is needed to correct. The local union had agreed to contract concessions "aimed at saving hundreds of jobs at the Thermo Fisher plants". The City of Two Rivers "tried to persuade the company to move its wood products plant to the city's industrial park, and they offered incentives for the company not to abandon Two Rivers", but that too was not effective. Now, City officials are worried that they will be left holding the bag for "any environmental cleanup or other work that's necessary to transform that property into something useful".
The problem is that large corporations like Thermo Fisher Scientific have learned how to manipulate the tax code and rig the deck against workers, against local governments and against the communities they operate in.
According to a USAToday report, Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of 27 companies in 2015 that paid no federal income tax. In fact, they received a NEGATIVE income tax.
So it should come as no surprise that in Wisconsin, when the option (through the Manufacturer's Tax Credit) was available to qualify for giant tax giveaways to get their state corporate income tax liability nearly zero without restrictions on the outsourcing of jobs, a profitable corporation like Thermo Fisher would take that chance to rig the game against the rest of us.
No company deserves public money, period. And any that does request it must prove their societal benefit that would not occur without it. AND they must have terms put in front of them by state government to protect residents from outsourcing, from abandoned property, from lost and/or low wages. That is the role of a strong, progressive government with its citizens' interest in mind.
The State Legislators representing the districts where these jobs were lost from (Two Rivers & Milwaukee), Sen Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) and Rep André Jacque (R-De Pere) voted AGAINST ending public funds to outsourcers (2015 Assembly Vote 441, 2015 Senate Vote 84), while Sen Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Rep Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) both voted FOR ending public funds to outsourcers!
Join this campaign, ADD YOUR NAME to learn more about new companies we'll reveal as outsourcing