Sen. Brown urges Janesville to reconsider

Company asked to explore 'every alternative' before closing Norwalk factory.
Scott Seitz2
Sep 27, 2013

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) urged Janesville Acoustics on Friday not to shutter its Norwalk manufacturing facility which would cost nearly 300 local workers their jobs. Last month, the company made an announcement that it plans to close its Norwalk plant by the end of 2014 without the consultation of its workers, the city's elected officials, or Workers United Local 1422.

"We know how to make things in Ohio -- especially cars -- and the Norwalk workers are among the best at what they do," Brown said. "That is what makes it so disappointing that Janesville Acoustics decided to close its Norwalk facility without any effort to consult its workers or the local community. I urge Janesville Acoustics to look into every alternative that would help save the plant and the nearly 300 local jobs that depend on it. I offer whatever assistance I can to help this happen."

Janesville Acoustics serves the global automotive and transportation industry by providing thermal and acoustical products, services, and solutions. One in every eight jobs in Ohio is connected to the auto industry. One in every six cars produced in the United States is made in Ohio.

Brown's made several points in his letter to Janesville president David Cataldi.

"Recently, I was contacted about your announcement to shutter the Janesville Acoustics facility in Norwalk, Ohio. Out of deep concern for the city of Norwalk and the facility's nearly 300 loyal workers, I ask that you reconsider this decision," he said.

"While appreciative of the advance notice you provided regarding next year's closure of the plant, it is my understanding that the decision was made without any consultation with the employees, the union, or local community officials. Consequently, local community officials and the union did not have an opportunity to present any ideas or alternatives that would prevent the Norwalk plant closure and save the area jobs," Brown added.

"As you know, Ohio has a strong and vibrant automotive sector, supporting approximately 850,000 Ohio jobs. I understand the importance of maintaining a robust environment for automakers and a strong supplier base. For many years, Janesville Acoustics has had a proud history and a strong network of support in Ohio. I am confident that you realize that your workers and the entire Norwalk community are willing to help you save the Norwalk plant. Their voices and ideas deserve to be heard," he said.

"I ask that you work directly with the union and local leaders on alternatives to avoid this devastating plant closure. Because of the serious impact this shutdown could have on the Norwalk community, I urge you to leave no stone unturned in these efforts. Please don't hesitate to call on me if I can be of assistance. I stand ready to help you save the jobs of hundreds of devoted Ohio workers," Brown said.

 

Comments

AlterEgo

Yes, please consider your options....1) do what is in the best interest of your company, or 2) lose money to the point where you go out of business and no longer employee anyone....

VerbalKint

Agreed, it is what it is.

dontknowmuch

Sherrod to the rescue. Don't hold your breath Janesville folks depending on him. He stood by and watched the GM plant in Mansfield - one of their better producing facilities - close down with very litle fight because he was in Obama's back pocket when GM had their hand out and was shuttering plants as well as dealerships to restructure. Today, that GM plant is becoming a giant pile of rubble as it is torn down.

Contango

Sen. Brown is a politico, he does what he does.

On the other hand, in Sen. Brown's fascist dream for America, JA would be ordered to remain or face the potential for severe financial and criminal retribution.

44846GWP

Wow, that makes sense Winnie......? At least Brown is trying to save Ohio jobs. Where is our invisible Senator, Mr. Portman? Does he even have an office in Ohio?

VerbalKint

Bull, this is one of thousands of simple, easy opportunities Brown has taken for the publicity. All he has to do is make one or two calls to Janesville and he issues a press release. He's been in office way too long and has fully supported DemoCare as well as other fascist agendas. Can't wait for his sorry rump to go.

44846GWP

"Fascist" agendas? You should look up the word.

Contango

Re: "'Fascist' agendas?"

Sen. Brown doesn't like to regulate and tax the h*ll out of corps.?

Get educated:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fas...

44846GWP

I read it Winnie, maybe you should read it again. Sen. Brown is no fascist. Get educated, comprehend what you read. Then go find a job.

Contango

Re: "I read it"

No you didn't.

Again: Sen. Brown doesn't like to regulate and tax the h*ll out of corps.?

Vamp1r3

@dontknowmuch, at GM in Ontario, it was a little different. Why should Brown waste his time at a plant where workers didnt want to do their jobs at? They were lazy at GM, they wanted the union there to help their employees not work. It was a joke, thats why it was shut down.

uncommoncents

If it's brown flush it down.

middleroad

Funny, people on here bashing Brown more because he is a Democrat than what the story is about. After reading the story, my thought was that at least Brown is trying to do something. We have another Senator in Ohio his name is Portman and he is Republican, yet he is doing nothing to try and help. But all hail Portman because he is on our team? I dont agree with some of the things that Brown does but unlike people that bash him I'll at least give the guy credit for trying, it might not work but why would you look down on someone trying to help? I know why, its because you were told to by someone on the national radio that tells you everyone lies to you except for him.

AlterEgo

So because you didn't read a self-serving press release about a phone call you assume Sen. Portman is doing nothing?

Miramar

Well, I hope the libertarian utopia you people are creating in Huron County, Ohio fulfills all of your ideological dreams. Because, after all, communities are unimportant, people and their families are just replaceable parts for the highest form of humanity, the corporation. You know, the businesses that used to invest in communities and give something back to the community other than merely some job that paid an hourly wage but have become parasitic, uninspired to invest in communities in which they operate because they now have an unquenchable thirst for handouts of your tax dollars to them while they wait for a better deal.

You let these businesses come in, take local and state taxpayer money to set up shop, and then wait in fear for when they realize that they can get some other community to give them more public money to grease profits and improve their facilities simply by packing up and moving there. Or even better for business, they realize can pack up and move overseas because they can pay essentially slave wages to someone in China or Vietnam simply by greasing a few corrupt palms of national government officials in Beijing or Hanoi and by throwing a bone or two to provincial or local officials to keep their workers from demanding living wages or killing themselves.

Contrary to the belief of many in Huron County and other rural communities, there is something more important than political ideology and a higher form of humanity than a corporation. Supporting policies that are actually in the interest of yourselves and your families over blind adherence to some defunct or unproven ideology. Realizing that the freedom to have flourishing communities and families matter more than the freedom of corporations to become parasitic entities that leech all they can, including your tax dollars, before moving onto the next community or to some communist country to do the same.

Unlike the Huron County of my youth or yours, we are now in a global economy where we are in direct labor competition where communities are pitted against each other like never before. Where Americans are in direct competition with parts of humanity that were sealed off by walls and ideology in the past. The freedom and associate rights of business are important, but they are not more important than the rights of actual people who live and work in our communities. People make up communities and society, not corporations. We need to ensure that those businesses that we allow to have access to the American consumer market recognize the rights of American consumers and their communities. We need to stop letting corporations operate according to the laws of the jungle and recognize that businesses can grow and prosper when they pay their taxes and pay their workers a fair wage, as they did for the majority of the post-World War II era in this country. Tax rates are the lowest they've been in generations and businesses have more access to more markets than ever before while paying lower wages relative to inflation, executive compensation and profit margin than they have in decades, but somehow these corporations and their lobbyists complain that they are suffocated by regulations and taxes to turn a profit. I hope people who support libertarian economic policies realize that they are doing so at the expense of their own families and communities. Huron County used to be a great place to grow up. Now it's home to a group of increasingly bitter, angry, and pessimistic people who believe that it's better to put their destinies in the hands of unelected business owners who have no ties to Huron County or its people and who are always looking for the next handout of your money or the opportunity to engage in legal slavery overseas so they can sell you a low quality towel or plastic container at Walmart that you don't need and increasingly pay for with government assistance or your credit card. Huron County, and all communties, always had some level of drug problems, but now its home to a true epidemic of heroin, pain killer, and crystal meth addition. When people are no longer accountable to the prospect of an actual job and become dependent on government assistance, the lure of these sorts of drugs and the potential extra income being involved in their trade can produce becomes more appealing to more people by the day. These drugs have always been around in modern America, but only when Huron County started to experience economic decay caused by the loss of economic opportunity did these problems exacerbate into an epidemic. The United States has more people in jail and prison than any society in the world. You just can't arrest your way out of these problems.

In the end, I hope that the people of Huron County and counties like it start to pull together in the opposition of these trends and develop grass roots organizations to demand new policies. Otherwise, I fear that Huron County will essentially become another rural Detroit where it is a wasteland of government dependence, drugs, and little opportunity. The people deserve better than this. Doing what's right matters, not blindly clinging to a bankrupt ideology for all things while your communities crumble around you. Your votes and your political involvement matter. Nothing will change otherwise. Stop waiting for something from the outside to come and save your community.

Contango

Re: "You let these businesses come in, take local and state taxpayer money to set up shop,"

Janesville was here for around 75 yrs wasn't it? A poor example.

As I've often written:

IMO, the road to a socio-economic renaissance in Huron Co. begins where the TRUE tax and regulatory power lies - Columbus, but especially Washington.

Also, your populist, communalistic screed is old.

Many manufactures are beginning to move back to the U.S. from China and elsewhere due in some cases to increased shipping costs and wage increases in respective countries.

http://www.cleveland.com/busines...

Also, manufacturing as a share of national GDP has not changed appreciably for decades.

Lastly, "Detroit"?

A free-market approach. It 'might' work for Huron Co. too, if we could get the (bleeping) politicians and special interest groups outa the way.

"How to Fix Detroit in 6 Easy Steps":

http://www.freemansperspective.c...

luvblues2

That last link made so much sense it hurt, Charlie Tango. You do realize the premise offered in that opinion piece was based on true anarchistic principals, right? Not the "anarchy" everyone relates to be total chaos.

Miramar

So I'm to assume that Janesville took no local or state tax money to remain in Norwalk in 75 years? I'm to assume that they will take no state or local tax money to move to Kansas, Missouri, or Nebraska? I mean, if it's about logistics and being close to their customers, you'd figure that their relocation example wouldn't involve multiple states. Clearly, this has nothing to do with fishing for taxpayer money. On top of that, the only reason they didn't close the Norwalk plant earlier was because there was a fire in Newcomerstown which devastated that community. The only reason they relocated those jobs to Norwalk was out of convenience while they waited for other states and municipalities to bid taxpayer money against each other. So outside of ignoring the fact that I was speaking to a larger economic point, it's an awesome example.

I don't know what you mean exactly by a "populist, communalistic screed" but if you mean recognizing basic economic self interest that is recognized by a growing number of communities across the US and in virtually every other developed economy in the world then thanks.

You say "free market" but you don't know what that means. Unless it means that you want to take things back to the era of robber barons where we had no labor laws nor laws related to campaign finance where businesses could cheat, steal, and grind human lives without being shackled by pesky government interference. If that's what you mean, then I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. I actually thought it was cute how you cited a Cleveland.com article that praises the efforts of the UAW in bringing auto industry jobs back to Ohio. I'm not sure on relying on rising petroleum costs and their effect on shipping rates is a great development model to grow the economy, but perhaps we'll just have to agree to disagree again.

And lastly, the model you're holding up to "fix" Detroit is to kill all federal, state and local government in Detroit. I'm speechless by how boldly and aggressively stupid that page is. The fact that you linked that page speaks directly to the problem that I have with ideologues and how they are destroying politics in this country and all of the second and third order effects that go along with it. I understand that libertarians are essentially closet anarchists, but it doesn't make their unproven solutions any less extreme or foolish. As forwarded in the article for example, I'm not sure the idea of disbanding the police force and sheriff's office and everyone getting together to buy a Robocop so we can be like Hong Kong will magically fix our problems. Outside of being amused by the idea of disbanding our police and (by logical inference) our armed forces and replacing them with private security firms for a book or movie plot, it's clear that the guy doesn't know anything about the way Hong Kong works or how economics and government are actually applied in and interact with the real world.

Contango

Re: "So I'm to assume that Janesville took no local or state tax money to remain in Norwalk in 75 years?"

And you ALSO need to "assume" that within that timeframe that they paid no federal, state and local income and property taxes, plus provided no employee taxable income.

An absurd one-sided argument.

-------------------------

Re: "Honk Kong"

Where the h*ll is that?

------------------

Try to keep it short and pithy would ya?

I don't have all day in order to knock down all your straw man and other fallacious arguments.

44846GWP

You don't have all day? Did you get a job?

Miramar

Well, since Janesville won't be paying any of those taxes pretty soon, huh? And it's not exactly likely that another business of that size will replace Janesville anytime in the near future, right? So it sounds like your model of begging companies to set up shop in Huron County solely with the lure of taxpayer dollars doesn't work too well.

It really is adorable how you make fun of a typo and then attempt to plant the flag of victory in the ground. You and your ideology have no credibility. There are societies out there that would fulfill your ideological conditions. One of them is Somalia. Why aren't "conservatives" beating down a path to Somalia? There is no functional government there. Oh that's right, because your ideology is awesome until you actually put your money where your mouth is. It's incredible how many "conservatives" hate government until you talk about cutting Medicare, social security, or defense spending. It's fraudulent, and the manifestation of this aggressive anti-government movement into the mainstream is hurting the country both in the near term and long term.

Contango

Re: "since Janesville won't be paying any of those taxes pretty soon, huh?"

BUT, they provided for and paid my aforementioned taxes for 75 yrs. IMO, any misperceived societal debt should be stamped Paid In Full.

OK, so Comrade Sen. Brown expressed his concern and his wishes. Good little apparatchik.

---------------------

Re: "Why aren't 'conservatives' beating down a path to Somalia?"

Absurd argument.

Do the Progressives run to Cuba and Venezuela for educational authoritarian socio-economic field trips?

http://www.politico.com/news/sto...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2...

Dr. Information

Dont try to make a valid (VERY VALID ACTUALLY) point because this person above simply does not get it.

Contango

Re: "simply does not get it."

Understood.

What's ironic is that Mr. Brown has a BA in Russian studies.

I tend to believe that he took away the wrong lessons from their history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She...

propman

Well that explains a lot, maybe time Senator Brown learns the US Constitution

Truth2u

Liberals, group yourself with others of your kind and buy the majority shares of Jamesville, it was done with the major news outlets so its nothing new.

Having the majority you can vote to reduce upper managements pay to that of the janitors, after of course you increase the janitors wages by 100% or more.

After buying Jamesville call Sen Brown and DEMAND that your evil corporation have more taxes levied against it along with an increase of EPA and OSHA inspections with increased harsher punishments!

Also DEMAND Sen Brown to find out why Obama stopped at a 48% tax on investors for 2014, shouldn't be at LEAST 75% or even more for those owning stock! Being major shareholders you can just stop altogether that 'UN' American practice of paying people dividends for the risks they take, you have to shun that evil 'Wall Street' image.

Owning Jamesville you'll have control of everything and must promote a cleaner environment and what about all these illegals walking around town or what about people dealing drugs and stealing to support their addictions, Its not their fault but the Corporations fault for not giving them a job or paying more taxes for Brown to pass out. YOU MUST CHANGE THIS! With your purchase Jamesville will become a a 'responsible' Corporation and you should call Brown and DEMAND him to take MORE of your corporations AND personal profits in the form of higher taxes and give it to the poor, those who wont work, those unfortunate not to find work, and lets not forget the illegals who need food, a home and car and unlimited free health with no deductibles; your fellow liberals working in the plant will understand that its being a better American! You MUST also not discriminate by not hiring those who are illegal, Brown,Pelosi, Reid and other liberals say the ILLEGALS have RIGHTS! Obama make a HUGE mistake by not including illegals when he gave away free cars, your corporation should make sure this doesn't happen again!

You can elect BigDogsBack (biggest liberal on Sandusky Register forum and in the entire State) as your President, he knows ALL the answers and will make certain everyone working at the factory get their fair share!

Gosh, I'm feeling all gooey inside just thinking about it and you haven't bought the company yet! America NEEDS YOU LIBERALS TO GET THINGS DONE!

Now The Rest of...

What has brownstain actually accomplished, as usual nothing other than a political sound bite. He is the same guy who voted for obozocare that has given the American taxpayer the largest tax increase in history.

kURTje

Terry Boose? Oh forgot - wasn't he silent with Furniture, CVG & others? Can't try like Lt.Gov. Fisher & the former mayor....

JACKEL

Great campaign speech !

JACKEL

Why don't he get his butt back in congress and stop that idiot in the Outhouse from giving arms and weapons to his Muslim Brothers that are beheading Christians !

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