Master Lock Co. will close its manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in March 2024, a company spokesperson told Manufacturing Dive in an email late last month.
“As part of this decision, the company will fully transition its manufacturing capability from the Milwaukee plant to our other North American and global manufacturing operations as well as external suppliers,” the spokesperson said.
The Wisconsin-headquartered company will begin to ramp down production starting in October through March of next year, which will displace approximately 375 employees and temporary workers.
Master Lock said the decision was not based on its Milwaukee plant’s workforce skills or performance.
“Rather, this is an opportunity to continue to enhance our supply chain resilience, maximize potential growth of the business and maintain our competitiveness into the future,” the spokesperson said.
The company had previously warned employees at the Milwaukee facility of its plans, United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 4 said in a Facebook post last month.
“We are disgusted, yet again, as another profitable corporation has decided to close the doors of a manufacturing icon in corporate America’s never-ending quest for profit, without any regard for the people amassing their wealth,” the labor union said.
Master Lock said it is working closely with UAW Local Chapter 469 to ensure a smooth transition and that its employees will receive transition support.
However, UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Campbell said in a Facebook post dated May 27 that the labor union is calling on Master Lock to reverse its decision.
“I want to be clear – UAW workers at Local 469 have done their part – they have got no more to give,” Campbell said in the post. “They need to concede NOTHING to this company to convince them to keep work in the USA – the company should keep work here because THIS is where their profits come from.”