Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

At Least 11,331 Wisconsin Jobs Outsourced Overseas Over the Last Five Years

Reveals Economic Wreckage Caused by Outsourcing During Walker and Johnson Years

By - Aug 29th, 2016 10:42 am
Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Statewide: According to federal data, the large scale outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs has continued at a rapid rate since Governor Scott Walker and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson took office. Despite the ongoing damage being done to economic opportunity across the state, Governor Walker and Senator Johnson have aided and abetted multinational corporations in selling out Wisconsin workers for short term profits.

Data kept by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that at least 11,331 Wisconsin workers have had their jobs outsourced to other countries since Governor Walker’s scandal ridden jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), was launched July 1, 2011. This is a very low end estimate of the impact of outsourcing in Wisconsin because it only accounts for groups of workers who successfully applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the federal government by proving their jobs were eliminated because of global trade agreements. It does not account for outsourcing to other states, or downsizing where it is not possible to prove the jobs landed in a foreign country or were impacted by global trade deals.

Both Governor Scott Walker and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson have consistently supported a rigged economic system which allows multinational corporations to pit Wisconsin workers against low-wage foreign workers.

Walker’s WEDC has consistently refused to hold corporations accountable who take public job creation dollars and simultaneously outsource Wisconsin jobs. The WEDC board has refused to require corporations receiving public dollars to create a net positive number of jobs (i.e. not to outsource and downsize more jobs than they are paid to create). Recently a Citizen Action of Wisconsin open records request found that WEDC is not enforcing its own 30 day notice policy for outsourcing and downsizing. The conservative majority in the State Senate also voted down a bill by Senator Dave Hansen, and the majority in the Assembly refused to take up a companion bill by Representatives Andy Jorgensen and Debra Kolste, which would have banned corporations who outsource from state economic aid for five years.

While Walker has aided and abetted outsourcing through state government, Senator Ron Johnson has done nothing to challenge unfair trade deals which rig the economy against Wisconsin workers. This is not surprising, given that Johnson during his election campaign in 2010 touted global trade deals like NAFTA as “creative destruction.” Senator Johnson touts his manufacturing credentials, but seems oblivious to the impact of outsourcing on manufacturing workers across the state.

“The continuing toll of outsourcing in Wisconsin is not a natural disaster; it is human made. Accountability is coming to all the politicians who are aiding and abetting the outsourcing of their constituents’ jobs,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The public is on to the fact that the political and corporate establishment are committing economic treason against Wisconsin workers. The public is also increasingly realizing that if the economy can be rigged against workers, it can also be re-rigged in our favor through policies that expand economic opportunity.”

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