After claiming they have satisfied the initial terms and conditions of a job-related Michigan tax break, Dematic, a makers of automated machinery for industrial applications, appears to be continuing their planned layoffs and a transition to a production facility based in Monterrey, Mexico. In a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) filed with the State of Michigan, the company announced its intentions to lay off another 60 production workers, most in manufacturing and many represented by the United Auto Workers union, in the firsts months of 2018.
At risk are additional number of workers that might be affected by the transition as Dematic has told the union that their Grand Rapids manufacturing facility will be substantially closed by mid-2018 and completely shut down by the end of 2018.
As we have seen before, problems can arise from union contracts which do not well represent the realities between loss of business, increasing competition, global logistics, wages, benefits, and the necessity of increasing production while lowering costs. Looking at the type of workers scheduled for layoff, (welders, mechanics, electronics technicians, machine operators) is consistent with the decline in manufacturing jobs within the United States.
Safe for the time being are the administrative and engineering staff in similarly located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to a company spokesperson, “This move will help to further increase our global competitiveness and secure highly-skilled engineering jobs based in Grand Rapids.”
To be noted, this is the type of industrial operation that changes ownership as the global poohbahs play Monopoly with real companies and real money. According to UAW local President Scott Wahlfeldt, “in 1980, the company was acquired by Lear Siegler Corporation and exchanged hands four times until 2006, when it was acquired by Triton, a private equity firm from Siemens. It was sold to KION, a German maker of forklift trucks and automated material handling equipment for $2.1 billion in 2016.
Translation: Welcome to Dematic Mexico ...
"Dematic designs, develops and delivers solutions that optimize your supply chain, improve productivity and increase the performance of your system in your manufacturing area and within the four walls of your warehouse or distribution center, in addition to providing support and technical assistance throughout the life cycle of its logistics solutions."