Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Did Burke Outsource Jobs Or Not?

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a report that Trek might have outsourced jobs to China:

If you're around Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke on the campaign trail, you're going to hear a lot about Trek Bicycles and the 1,000 jobs it has created in Wisconsin.

This you won't hear:
Trek — a company founded by Burke's father and a place she worked for nine years — is fighting a petition filed by a state official saying the firm outsourced some 15 to 20 jobs from its Waterloo plant to China earlier this year.

In August, Lynda Paasch, a staffer with the state Department of Workforce Development, submitted a petition for special federal aid for the former Trek workers through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program in the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program provides such benefits as government subsidies for job retraining and relocation expenses for people who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition or outsourcing.

Paasch wrote that most Trek employees working second and third shift making composite lugs and mountain bike frames were laid off March 16. These are the only layoffs the company has had this year.

"The Workers were told if production numbers would not start to rise, then Trek would have to close the line down and shift the line to China, after all the bike frames (were) produced," Paasch wrote. "The production numbers could not be met due to the decrease in orders."

Federal officials are currently investigating the matter to decide whether the ex-Trek employees are entitled to benefits.

A spokeswoman for the company said it is fighting the petition.

But to be fair, the timing of this story seems rather convenient, especially on the trail of the return of Walkergate.  But then again, I have been hearing about Trek outsourcing jobs for a long time, so it is equally plausible.

So far, the leading candidate in my mind is still "None of the above."


  1. I smell an Open Records request on this one. Given that the DWD has turned into nothing more than a Walker campaign arm, would you be surprised if Ms. Paasch got some orders from a different place, ala Keith Gilkes running the O' Donnell parking garage investigation.

    It may be legit, as Trek's China connections are an issue. But with the Walker crew, I'm a bit suspicious

  2. If Trek is selling bikes in China, wouldn't it make sense for them to make the bikes there?

    1. Really? Where did you get that from?

    2. @ Capper----Where did he get that from? Cindy suggested that Trek MIGHT be selling bikes in China. -------- I am upset with your take on Mary Burke. You actually suggested in an earlier blog that she might be worse than Walker. You are dead wrong about that. ------ We must not forget that Walker is the enemy. There is a "divide and conquer" effort going on and Walker is not even the guy behind it. --

  3. oh boy -- now dems are going to be forced to defend outsourcing jobs to china.

    Burke may be have potential -- but some of it is to complete the "divide and conquer" started by walker.

  4. It's always heartwarming to watch a company fight against employees receiving Federal benefits after a job loss. This is American capitalism at it's finest. Let the workers receive what they are due. Is that so goddamn difficult?

  5. According to Trek's own spokesman only 10K out of the 1.5 million bikes they sell a year are made in the U.S. That comes out to about .5% Considering that Trek started out with 0% of the market share in 1976 (when the vast majority of bikes sold in the US were made in the US) and now they they have 35% of the U.S. market share, do the math: Trek has cost far more job loss in the US than it has created.

  6. Anon 11:45 -- but now the Dysfunctional Dem Party of Wisconsin is proclaiming here to be the best thing since sliced bread.

    And those that don't march in goose-step? We will be flamed and blamed for the next stolen election (if walker skates through the ONGOING [and not new or phase 2] criminal probe.

    1. Come on. They are telling people that she's a TASTY sh*t sandwich. Or else Walker!