MADISON, Wis. –Richard Hampton, who lost his job with Hufcor after the company shipped his job to Mexico, blasted Ron Johnson for supporting and pushing policies that led to his firing. Read more about what Hampton had to say about Johnson below:
Up North News: Employee Who Lost his Job to Layoff Calls Out Johnson for Backing Corporations Over Workers
Former Hufcor employee lost his job of 14 years after [the] company announced it was moving operations from Janesville to Mexico.
Richard Hampton spoke of his experience losing his job after 14 years at Hufcor, which manufactures movable walls, announced this year that it would shift its Janesville operation to Mexico. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) and Kevin Gunlach, president of the South Central Federation of Labor, joined Hampton on the Tuesday press call.
The speakers said Johnson, who has not yet announced if he will run for a third term next year, has repeatedly supported policies that make it easier for corporations to shut down local plants and outsource the jobs, as Hufcor’s new owners did.
Hampton says that losing his job also cost him his house when he was forced to downsize to cheaper accommodations.
He is looking for work, but has not yet been able to find an opportunity that offers pay comparable to his Hufcor job.
He expressed incredulity at why Wisconsin’s Republican senator has supported the very business interests that have exported jobs out of the state.
“I don’t understand why Sen. Johnson wants to help these organizations, these companies, profit off our loss,” Hampton said.
Gunlach, the labor leader, highlighted the many forms of pain that can result from the loss of major employers.
The expansive list included loss of income, loss of home, diminished spending power, worker displacement, the cost of retraining, and greater burdens on local governments to provide housing and food.
“These workers that we meet are some of the most talented, some of the most dedicated, some of the most admirable workers you’ll ever meet,” Gunlach said.
This is not the first time Hampton has been impacted by the loss of a major Janesville employer. He said that he was previously laid off from the community’s General Motors plant. The company shut down the factory in 2008.
When asked what he wanted to see from his elected officials to help himself and his community bounce back, Hampton was focused more on stopping the economic bleeding.
“We need to keep our companies here,” Hampton said. “Janesville is a small town. We don’t have a whole lot here. But what we got, we’d like to keep.”
In a parting message, presumably intended for the multimillionaire Johnson, Hampton made an appeal on behalf of himself and others in the working class.
“Rich people already have money,” Hampton said. “They don’t need more.”
The message is unlikely to reach the Republican senator who threatened to withhold his vote for the Trump tax cuts in 2017 until the bill was amended to include more savings for companies like those owned by Johnson’s wealthy Republican donors.