Citizen Action - Yet Another Walker Outsourcing Scandal

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For Immediate Release--April 29, 2016

Yet Another Walker Outsourcing Scandal

Statewide: Thursday it was revealed that yet another multinational corporation receiving public dollars for job creation actually sent more jobs overseas than it created in Wisconsin. This is only the latest example of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Governor Walker’s semi-privatized jobs agency, paying companies to create jobs which in turn outsource more jobs.

According to a report by Greg Neumann of WKOW TV in Madison, W.W. Grainger company outsourced jobs from Janesville to Panama. The corporation created no jobs in Wisconsin, despite receiving WEDC tax credits.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has repeatedly called on WEDC to close loopholes which allow companies receiving state economic development dollars to outsource Wisconsin jobs. In the State Senate and State Assembly this legislative session Democrats introduced bills to limit economic development support to companies engaged in outsourcing. The bills were defeated on party line votes.

Earlier this month, Citizen Action of Wisconsin called on WEDC to release outsourcing records. In late 2014 WEDC’s board adopted a policy of requiring reports within 30 days by corporations receiving state job creation dollars of any net job reductions or the outsourcing of jobs out of Wisconsin. These reports have not been publicly released, nor has Citizen Action been able to obtain them by contacting WEDC staff. It is also Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s understanding that such reports are not being shared with WEDC’s board of directors.

WKOW TV’s report yesterday was based on outsourcing data compiled by the federal government, not WEDC. According to WKOW, WEDC is seeking repayment of tax credits given to W.W. Grainger because the corporation created no jobs, not because it outsourced jobs to Panama.

Outsourcing was a dominant issue in the Wisconsin presidential primary, and in the U.S. Senate race.

“Wisconsin voters are on to the fact that political and corporate establishment are committing economic treason against Wisconsin workers,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “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.”