Energizer Teamsters Oppose Company’s Cruel Outsourcing Plans
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(WISCONSIN) – The Teamsters Union is continuing the fight to protect 600 jobs at Energizer in Portage and Fennimore, Wisc., after the company announced plans to outsource battery production to Singapore and to a nonunion facility in North Carolina.
After extensive negotiations between Teamsters Local 695 and Energizer, the company conceded this week to the union’s demands for an economic package that guarantees protections for workers in writing.
This package is not an acceptance of Energizer’s intentions to outsource work. Teamsters will continue to fight on multiple fronts, on a local and national level, to keep good-paying union jobs in Wisconsin.
“While I’m glad that Energizer agreed to what we were asking for, our intent is to never use this agreement,” said Rocco Calo, Teamsters Eastern Region Vice President. “We will continue to fight Energizer’s reckless plans to close these plants and offshore U.S. jobs to Asia. The American communities of Fennimore and Portage have worked hard for years to earn Energizer billions of dollars, and the decision to destroy these jobs is outrageous.”
The agreement requires Energizer to keep workers employed to specific dates — with a majority of workers retained until early- to mid-2024 — and to provide any worker who ultimately is laid off with one week of salary for every year worked at the company, with a $5,000 minimum. The company will also provide two months of COBRA health care coverage and job search assistance.
Wisconsin Teamsters at the plants produce batteries for Energizer’s retail brands, including Eveready and Rayovac, as well as specialty batteries for hearing aids. In 2020, Wisconsin gave Energizer a five-year, $600,000 tax credit to create 96 jobs and retain 453 jobs.
Since 1999, Energizer has received more than $10 million in public subsidies from six states. The company contracts with the U.S. military and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Last year, Energizer gave $93 million to shareholders through quarterly dividends and posted a gross profit of $1.1 billion. In three years, the corporation tripled its CEO’s compensation to $9 million.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.