America's Biggest Companies Continue To Move Factories Offshore And Eliminate Thousands of American Jobs
By Richard A. McCormack
Despite a lot of talk and articles written about reshoring -- bringing production back to the United States -- offshore outsourcing of manufacturing and service-sector jobs to foreign nations continues to plague the American economy.
Hundreds of major American corporations are shipping thousands of jobs overseas, according to an analysis of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) filings made to the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration on behalf of the displaced workers.
While the trend is down from its peak, it has not fully abated, and there are many times more outsourcing events -- as per the TAA petitions filed with the Labor Department -- than there are reshoring (or "insourcing" or "onshoring") announcements, as per searches of media stories on www.news.google.com and www.news.yahoo.com.
A survey of petitions filed on behalf of workers to receive generous TAA benefits and training during the first three weeks of July, 2013, indicates that offshoring of American production and jobs -- as well as import substitution -- remains a fixture of the largest and most well known American companies. Seventy-seven petitions were filed on behalf of American workers, from companies such as IBM, Walgreens, International Paper, Sanmina Corp., Chicago Bridge and Iron, NCR, AT&T, Tenneco Automotive, Micron Technology and Honeywell, among others.
If it were not for the TAA program, few of these company decisions to displace American workers with foreigners would be known. The database is searchable at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa/taa_search_form.cfm.
Here are some of the filings:
Flextronics Americas in Stafford, Texas, will lay off 147 workers because their jobs "are being transferred to Juarez, Mexico," writes Chrystal Broussard Johnson, a Workforce Account Executive at a TAA "One-Stop Operator/Partner."
Jabil of Tempe, Ariz., will lay off more than 500 workers making printed circuit boards and box-build assemblies for the medical, industrial and aerospace sectors. "We are in the process of moving several assemblies to other Jabil facilities in Mexico and Asia in order to reduce labor costs and meet our customers' pricing expectations," writes Jabil HR Manager Dawn Tabelak in a July 15 TAA petition.
Joy Global of Franklin, Penn., will lay off 245 workers making underground mining equipment because production is "being shifted to a foreign location, outsourcing increased imports, articles and services," writes Timothy Buck, a union official in York, Penn.
Phillips Lighting Company's Bath, N.Y., factory making finished lamps will lay off 265 workers because "production is being shifted to a foreign country," writes Amy Heysham, Director of Human Resources for Phillips.
Hewlett Packard will lay off 500 employees working in customer service and technical support in Conway, Ark., due to "global restructuring," according to Mazen Alkhamis, Business Solutions Analyst for the state of Arkansas in Little Rock.
DAK Americas of Leland, N.C., is laying off 340 full-time workers and 264 contract workers because it closed its entire production facility at its Cape Fear site due to dumped imports of competing products, according to Stephen Seals, DAK Americas' Senior Director of Human Resources. "Imports of PET resins have continued to rise in quantity over the last several years, especially from China and Oman," writes Seals. "The low price of these imports as well as the increasing volume continues to have a negative impact in the U.S. marketplace. For DAK Americas' Cape Fear site, it is the price suppression that these low-priced imports has brought with them that has been the most damaging. The continuing decline in prices has forced DAK Americas to rationalize capacity." Shutting down the Cape Fear PET resins manufacturing plant "would not be the outcome if the increasing volume of low-priced imports had not driven the manufacturing economics for this site beyond a state that cannot be maintained and be viable.
"DAK continues to participate in trade actions against these low-priced imports. There are three major trade cases for antidumping actions for Certain Polyester Staple Fiber products against Korea (A-580-839), Taiwan (A-583-833) and China (A-570-905) that remain active with trade actions aimed at controlling the dumping of fibers from these countries, yet the flow of imports continues to affect our business and the marketplace. As a result of continuing imports of those dumped products, DAK will be closing fiber manufacturing at the Cape Fear site. A significant portion of the Polyester Stable Fiber produced on-site will now be transferred and be manufactured in Queretaro, Mexico. . . Even with the renewed anti-dumping trade case affirmative actions against Korea, free-trade agreements with Korea were put in place that bolster the ability for these imports to continue. If imports were not given increased access to the U.S. marketplace for the products produced at DAK Americas Cape Fear site, the site would not be forced to rationalize capacity and shut down its operations resulting in the loss of approximately 600 jobs at the site."
Eli Lilly will lose nearly 1,000 sales representatives nationwide "as a result of the loss of patent protection from two of its best-selling drugs: Cymbalta and Evista," writes Susan Fracasso, Rapid Response Coordinator for the state of Connecticut in Wethersfield. "Those two products will be made generically, likely by facilities outside of the United States.
Charles Inc. of Council Bluffs, Iowa, will lay off 60 furniture workers. The reason: "Since mid-1990s, many upholstered furniture companies have been importing completely upholstered furniture, cut & sewn kits and raw materials from China, Mexico, Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries," according to Lindsay Anderson, TAA Coordinator for the state of Iowa. "This has resulted in Charles Inc.'s inability to compete with them and be able to meet their prices. Charles Inc. has tried many different approaches, but the labor and material saving on imported products was too much for Charles Inc. to overcome."
PDM Bridge based in Proctor, Minn., will lay off 35 workers because the company is "losing local contract product bids in the last year to multinational and overseas buyers and producers of like and similar bridge products," according to Debra Schlekewy, TAA Coordinator for the state of Minnesota.
Honeywell Process Solutions, manufacturer of electronic industrial control units in York, Penn., will lay off 110 workers. "Company filed WARN stating closure in the first quarter of 2014 with layoffs expected to begin in August 2013," writes Terri Zimmerman of the Pennsylvania state government. "Per company official most of the work is transferring to Mexico."
Nordex USA Inc., maker of wind blades in both Jonesboro, Ark., and Chicago, Ill., will lay off 80 workers because production is "being sifted to a foreign country," according to Francene Miller of the Arkansas state government.
Tyco Electronics TE Connectivity/ ICT Division in Tullahoma, Tenn., a manufacturer of electronic connectors, will lay off 33 employees because "production has been shifted to a foreign country," according to workers filing on their own behalf.
Campbell Soup Co. in Camden N.J., has laid off 100 workers because their "services are being transferred to a foreign country," writes Patric Donovan, Employment and Training Specialist for the state of New Jersey.
Cooper Interconnected, a division of Cooper Wiring Devices headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga., will lay off 56 workers from its Salem, N.J., facility. "To meet competitive demands on product manufacturing, the plant activities are being transferred to a plant in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico," writes Randall Zimmerman, Director of Human Resources at Cooper Wiring Devices, on behalf of the workers. "Competitors are currently located in similar foreign locations."
Sensata Technologies of Attleboro, Mass., is laying of 16 employees because it is "transitioning manufacturing of burn-in test socket products manufactured in Phoenix, Ariz., to locations in China and Korea," writes Cheryl Stanton, Senior Human Resources Generalist at the company.
Motorola Solutions' Louisville, Ky., electronics repair facility will lay off 55 workers because their jobs "are being relocated and will ultimately end up in Mexico," writes Loretta Baker, Regional Trade Facilitator at the Kentucky Office of Employment Training in Louisville.
Sealed Air Corp. in Duncan, S.C., has laid off an undisclosed number of workers after it purchased Diversey Holding Inc., in 2011 and decided to outsource its information technology computer support to WIPRO in Pune, India. "Thus, the Sealed Air internal service desks in Europe, China, Brazil and Duncan were outsourced overseas to India and employees/contractors lost jobs," write three former workers whose names were redacted from the petition (received July 17).
Transportal of Charlotte, N.C., a company that transcribes medical records, laid off 25 workers when their jobs were "underbid by another company, Nuance, who offshores work," writes Dianna Rivera, TAA coordinator for the state of North Carolina.
NIDEC Motor Corp. in Paragould, Ark., is laying off eight workers making dryer appliance motors because production is "being shifted to a foreign country," writes Francene Miller, Business Solutions Analyst for the Arkansas state government in Little Rock, Ark.
Omega Engineering in Stamford, Conn., has laid off 40 employees making thermocouples. Omega "was acquired by Spectris (UK) in 2012," according to Michael Shavel, Career Development Specialists for the Connecticut State Labor Department. "In October, the company opened a Customer Service and Manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. The welding department located in Stamford, Conn., was downsized from 45 workers to five presently. At a company meeting in 2012, Global Director James R. Dale announced plans to open facilities globally, including China, Spain and Brazil."
Walgreens in Mount Prospect, Ill., has laid off 23 data processing, mainframe operations workers. "Services (IT Operations) have been outsourced to Chennai, India, and Queretaro, Mexico," according to workers who submitted the petition. "All phone calls since March 2013 have been rerouted to these foreign countries."
Narroflex of Stuart, Va., will lay off 55 workers making textiles because of "increased imports of products [and] outsourcing to foreign countries by our customers," according to Robert Diesel, Narroflex Chief Financial Officer.
Keystone Printed Specialties in Old Forge, Penn., has laid off 40 employees in its lithographic printing department because the "company has lost customers such as Stanley/Black & Decker due to their production being moved overseas," write workers filing on their own behalf. "Company also lost business with Menasha Packaging Corp., and Packaging Corporation of America, Just Born Candy, Rock-Tenn Corp. and International Paper (formerly Temple-Inland). Increased outsourcing of the production of consumer packaged goods has negatively impacted the domestic production of corrugated and folding packaging [and] lithographic printed labels."
Council for South Texas Economic Progress is shutting down its call center in Winston Salem, N.C., because "as call centers nationwide are being sent overseas due to cheaper labor, call center workers are left with very few options for jobs and very little education to assist with finding jobs," according to workers filing on their own behalf. "Our call center is just one of many that are being shut down."
Staples' Columbia, S.C., accounts payable team will lose up to 20 jobs because its "processes are being shifted to India," write workers filing on their own behalf. "Accenture representatives have been trained at our shared service center as well as in India. The knowledge transfer will continue through the end of our term. On April 2, 2013, our management team announced the elimination of our positions to Accenture."
Here are other TAA petitions that were being considered by the Labor Department during the month of July:
IBM in Montpelier, Vt., will lay off 500 workers involved in design and manufacture of computer chips and hardware. "We have received information from IBM displaced workers and others that design, production and logistical operations are being outsourced to foreign facilities," writes Rose Lucenti, Director of Workforce Development in the Vermont State Workforce Office.
IBM will lay off 747 workers involved in computer manufacturing at three sites in New York, according to Susan Serviss, State TAA Coordinator in the N.Y. State Department of Labor in Albany. Serviss writes: "The company has contracted to support the development and application of hardware and software for IBM's mainframes. [IBM employees have] been training workers in China during the last few months of the worker's employment to perform the contractor's responsibilities using the procedures that the contractor had created. [M]ost of the operations at the Poughkeepsie site are gone to Brazil, India and now China."
Spartanburg Steel Productsin Spartanburg, S.D., has laid off 500 workers because it did not win a contract for automotive body stampings and weld assemblies from BMW in South Carolina. "BMW is changing car models and Spartanburg Steel was not able to retain all of the new parts for the new vehicle," writes Kelli Grant, TAA Operations Coordinator for the state of South Carolina. "Those parts will be produced by two foreign-owned companies that have plants in the upstate of South Carolina: Gestamp and Drive Automotive."
Atlas-Copco Drilling Solutions LLC / Dynapac in Garland, Texas, a maker of drilling equipment for strip mining and road machinery, will lay off 15 to 20 employees because "all Dynapac production was shifted to foreign countries," according to workers filing on their own behalf. "Roller machine was shifted to Sweden. And a new factory was built in China for the production of the Asphalt Paver. The Paver is to be marketed as an American Design to be sold to USA and Australia with the USA tier 4 emission standards developed at Garland, Texas."
Boeing Co. will lay off at least 1,000 workers at plants in Auburn, Wash., Everett, Wash., Payallup, Wash., Renton, Wash., Seattle, Wash., and Tukwila, Wash., "with more WARNed," writes Dean Tudor, of aerospace union SPEEA and Tom Wroblewski, the IAMAW District President in Seattle, Wash. "Production of Commercial aircraft has been outsourced to offshore locations," they write in numerous TAA petitions certified in July by the Labor Department. "The result of the outsourcing created assembly problems which has caused multiple locations in Washington to react by increasing manpower. The continuation of outsourcing after the initial increase has caused the company to decrease its workforce."
General Motors Powertrain division in Saginaw, Mich., has lost between 150 and 200 jobs involved in the raw and semi finished castings of blocks and heads. "A major portion of the production has been shifted to a foreign country resulting in the reduction in workforce at our facility," writes Harold Cripps, president of the local union. "About 75 percent of the heads we produced for the 5.3 liter V Head and 50 percent of the 5.3 liter blocks we produced will now be done in Mexico. We also produced Lost Foam 4 cylinder blocks that are now manufactured overseas in China and Korea. This process has been eliminated completely from our facility."
Kingston Technology of Fountain Valley, Calif., is laying off 80 workers involved in DRAM and Flash memory products for electronics because "our company has been and continues to shift primarily production work from the U.S. to China," writes company Human Resources Manager Denise Stevens. "Other groups affected include shipping, warehouse workers and to a lesser degree, finance, engineering and IT positions."
Hasbro Inc. has laid off 200 workers in Pawtucket, R.I., because "the industry as a whole is suffering due to Chinese imports, as well as new technology manufactured in foreign countries," write workers in their petition for TAA benefits. "Design for these products has also become frequently sourced to Hong Kong due to cost of labor in the U.S."
Perkin Elmer is laying off 110 workers at its Downers Grove, Ill., plant because it is "relocating two production lines to their Singapore facility," writes Susi Pihera, Rapid Response Liaison with WorkNet DuPage Career Center in Lisle, Ill. The facility was making medical instruments for laboratory use and radiation detection equipment.
Keithley Instruments, maker of electronic test and measurement equipment in Solon, Ohio, laid off 59 employees because the company "transferred the majority of [its] manufacturing operations to China in a staged process over the course of 2011-2013," according to Ontoinette Threatt, Workforce Planning Analyst at the company.
Cambridge International's Alloy Wire Belt facility in Modesto, Calif., is "being closed because they were moving it to Mexico to cut operating costs as the labor there was cheaper," according to Julie Odell, an Employment Program Representative for the state of California in Turlock.
Callaway Golf Balls has shifted production from its Chicopee, Mass., facility to China, Taiwan and Mexico impacting 23 workers, according to workers submitting the TAA petition.
Cameroon PCS, a maker of pressure vessels in Magnolia, Texas, has laid off 100 workers because "production has been outsourced to a foreign country. We were told to China," according to workers submitting the petition.
Caterpillar Inc.'s Mapleton Foundry in Peoria, Ill., is laying off 80 workers making engine liners and engine blocks because "the company is outsourcing engine block and head production as well as the finishing products," according to Lori Graham of the Illinois Workforce Network "The products have been outsourced to Technicost, a company located in Mexico."
Wonik Quartz International Corp., a maker of quartz glass for the semiconductor industry in Albuquerque, N.M., is laying off an undisclosed number of workers because "all parts of being outsourced to China because it is cheaper," according to the company workers submitting the petition.
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products division in Saco, Maine, has laid off 100 workers making MK19 40MM Grenade launchers because the contract "was awarded to another company, Fabrique National (FN Manufacturing), located in Columbia, S.C.," write GD workers in their petition. "FN Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Belgian Herstal Group located in Herstal, Belgium in Europe."
Rockwell Automation of Milwaukee, Wisc., intends to lay off 45 workers in its global financial services group because a "letter of layoff from [the] company and [an] e-mail copied to some of the affected workers stating their jobs are being redeployed. . . to Poland," according to Roger Hinkle of the Milwaukee Help-In-Re-Employment (HIRE) Center. "People from Poland came to Rockwell to be trained."
A.A. Laun Furniture Co., based in Kiel, Wisc., will lay off 45 workers making wood furniture because "cheaper products and materials from overseas have made it impossible for American made furniture factories to compete, forcing them to go out of business," write the workers who submitted the petition.
Automatic Data Processing will lay off between 50 and 200 workers in San Dimas, Calif., because the company's services have been "outsourced to India," says Linda Ellen, TAA Analyst for the state of California in Sacramento. "Staff were required to train the associates from India in correct letter writing, communications and grammar."
Federal Mogul's Chicago plant has laid off 130 workers due to production being moved to Los Reyes, Mexico, according to Stacey Miller, the company's Human Resources Manager.
Sony Pictures Imageworks in Culver City, Calif., is laying off 100 workers involved in visual effects and animation because "the work is being outsource to Canada and India," according to Susan Campos, a TAA specialist with the state of California in Los Angeles.
Seco Tools based in Lenoir City, Tenn., is laying off 72 workers because "the manufacturing is moving to Seco plants located in France, Sweden and India," writes Jennifer Ostroff, HR manager at the company.
Baldwin Hardware, a subsidiary of Spectrum Brands (and a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker), in Reading, Penn., is laying off 166 workers making door locks and hardware because "production is being shifted to Nogales, Mexico," writes Sylvia Lehn, HR Manager at Spectrum.
Osram Sylvania in Winchester, Ky., is laying off 24 workers in its lighting division because "LED lamp assembly at the Winchester, Ky., facility is being transferred to the Juarez, Mexico, facility between 6/2013 and 9/2013," writes Janice Berryman, Osram Sylvania Human Resources Manager.
Agilent Technologies of Cary, N.C., is laying off 41 workers because "all production activities are being shifted to Agilent Technologies Inc. manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia," write workers filing on their own behalf. "All R&D functions are being transferred to Agilent Technologies Inc., in Waldbron, Germany."
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