Federal Officials Meet with Electrolux Workers in St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD -- Minnesota's highest elected federal officials were all in St. Cloud Saturday to meet with community leaders and workers impacted by the announced closure of the Electrolux plant.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar says she's outraged on how the announcement was handled by the company.
This factory that they've given their lives to, by all accounts a successful workforce, is just a footnote at the bottom of a press release about expanding in South Carolina. Which was issued the day after a board meeting. No heads up to the mayor, or federal officials, or union people.
Klobuchar says the main goal now is to make sure the workers are continued to be paid well while they work for Electrolux in St. Cloud. And, she says it is a goal to make sure the workers find new jobs in here in this community.
Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer says it's unfair that Electrolux didn't give St. Cloud and the state a chance to keep them here.
I believe had they given Minnesota the opportunity and this great community the opportunity to make them an offer to expand and make their investment in Minnesota they would have done it. Instead, they already had serious economic incentives provided to them by county officials in South Carolina. They didn't give Minnesota an opportunity to compete.
At the same time, Electrolux announced the shutdown of the St. Cloud plant they also announced a $500 million investment in two other facilities in Springfield, Tennessee and in Anderson, South Carolina.
U.S. Senator Tina Smith says, even though the three politicians sent a joint letter to Electrolux asking them to reconsider the closure, that's not likely to happen.
The idea that we're going to be able to convince this big multinational corporation to change the direction is probably unlikely. But what we need to do is really focus on what happens next in St. Cloud is worthy of this really great community.
Smith says city leaders asked the company as recently as December if they were doing okay here in St. Cloud, and the response then was yes.
All three elected officials say the focus now is to make sure the impacted workers have the resources they need to be retrained and find new jobs here in the St. Cloud area.
Last month Electrolux announced they will be closing the St. Cloud facility at the end of 2019, impacting about 900 workers.