Plexus publicly responds to outsourcing charge, creates more questions
NEENAH (WKOW) -- Making its first comments related to a 27 News investigation on companies that outsourced jobs after receiving WEDC tax credits, the Plexus Corporation put out a press release last Thursday stating it laid off workers in 2012, but never outsourced the work.
"Plexus experienced a disruptive event when our largest customer at that time, which represented approximately 16 percent of Plexus' global revenue, unexpectedly announced its decision to disengage from Plexus," the release reads. "The customer disengagement represented a significant challenge for the Company and unfortunately resulted in the loss of jobs in Wisconsin."
The release goes on to explain Plexus never replaced those jobs in another country.
"These jobs were not moved to Plexus locations outside of the U.S. but instead were lost from Plexus altogether as the result of the customer's decision to move its programs to our competitors' locations outside of the U.S.," reads the release.
27 News has asked Plexus for clarification on that information due to discrepancies found in those statements.
Plexus did lose its largest customer in 2012, when Juniper Networks informed the company it would no longer be using them as a supplier for computer networking gear. But in a Plexus press release dated November 6, 2012, the company announced it was informed of the decision by Juniper just a day earlier, on November 5th.
Plexus had announced the layoffs of 116 workers from its Neenah facility, that were noted in the 27 News story, in July of 2012. According to a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition filed on behalf of those workers, the layoffs were actually implemented on May 7, 2012.
On the statement that the jobs were not moved to Plexus locations outside of the U.S., but were lost altogether, the TAA decision from the Department of Labor (DOL) seems to refute that. In the decision, Plexus is named as the firm being investigated by DOL. The decision points out TAA benefits were ultimately awarded because "the workers firm has shifted to a foreign country the production of an article like or directly competitive with the article produced by the workers that contributed to importantly to worker group separations at Plexus."