UPDATE: Gov. Walker is open to more sanctions against companies - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Gov. Walker is open to more sanctions against companies that outsource WI jobs

Posted: Updated:
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- The fallout continues over the Eaton Corporation's decision to layoff 93 workers from its plant in Watertown and ship their jobs to Tijuana, Mexico.
It is the second time the company's outsourced state jobs to Mexico since 2013, despite collecting nearly $370,000 in job creation tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

"Obviously our ultimate goal is to make sure that businesses aren't outsourcing," Gov. Scott Walker told 27 News after a meeting of the WEDC board Thursday.

Gov. Walker said he has instructed WEDC staff to look into the deal they struck with Eaton to see if there is an immediate remedy.

"We're not necessarily concluding that we can't take action even under the current arrangements. We're still trying to look through what other options we might have," said Gov. Walker.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said he also hopes for an immediate solution where Eaton is concerned.

"I want to be sure that we're analyzing whether those clawback provisions need to apply and if so, how quickly we can have them apply," said Rep. Barca, who sits on the WEDC board.

While the staff researches that, Gov. Walker and Rep. Barca say they will work together to see if they can fashion tougher outsourcing sanctions going forward.

"He and I worked this last time on the language we currently included. If there's more that's needed to be done, we're willing to do it," said Gov. Walker.

The WEDC board took action to strengthen their policy against outsourcing last September, after 27 News reported that Eaton and Plexus Corp. both had outsourced jobs after receiving tax credits.

But many Democratic lawmakers say the WEDC policy is ineffective, since Eaton is still outsourcing while receiving state dollars.  Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced Wednesday he is introducing legislation that would ban any company that outsources Wisconsin jobs while receiving state aid from getting any future aid for a period of five years.

"We'll be attempting to ensure that the policy that we put in place is sufficient and strong and fully protects the taxpayers and then also look at the legislative route," said Rep. Barca.

In Thursday's WEDC meeting, Rep. Barca tried to bring up the outsourcing issue, but because there was no public notice for that item on the agenda, the board could not legally discuss it.

The board agreed to revisit WEDC's outsourcing policies at its next meeting in July.


MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Four days after 27 News reported that the Eaton Corporation is outsourcing Wisconsin jobs to Mexico for a second time in three years - despite receiving $370,000 in tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) - Gov. Scott Walker said he is open to adding stronger outsourcing sanctions at the agency.

The Governor also said he has directed WEDC staff to talk with Eaton Corp. officials about changing or renegotiating their current job tax credits deal based on this week's revelations.

Gov. Walker made his comments after a combined meeting of the WEDC and WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) boards Thursday.

Eaton Corp. told 27 News on Monday they are laying off 93 employees at their Watertown facility and sending those jobs to their plant in Tijuana, Mexico.  In April 2013 Eaton laid off 163 employees from its Cooper Power Systems plant in Waukesha, sending those jobs to Mexico as well.

Capitol Bureau  Chief Greg Neumann was at today's WEDC meeting and will have more on 27 News at 6.

Powered by Frankly