1998: Pressure from Wal-Mart forces Huffy to close the bicycle plant in Celina, putting 1,100 employees out of work. The jobs were moved to a nonunion factory in Missouri.
1999: Huffy, pressured to continue lowering costs, closes its last two U.S. bicycle plants—in Farmington, Mo., and Southaven, Miss. The move eliminates 600 jobs. The company contracts with fac-tories in Mexico and China.
2001: Huffy ends its manufacturing contracts with Mexico and begins relying almost entirely onfactories in China, where Chinese workers earn only 33 cents an hour and frequently work sevendays a week.
Wal-Mart creates good jobs? I bet Ruth Schumacher and her husband would disagree. Now Mr. and Mrs. Schumacher are dependent on Wal-Mart's everyday low prices.
Laid-off factory worker Ruth Schumacher rises before the sun most days and earns $7 per hour tending the breakfast bar at a Holiday Inn in Celina, Ohio. She would like to set out a tip jar for the occasional dollar, but management forbids it.Wal-Mart's response?
After work, she occasionally goes next door to shop at Wal-Mart or at Kmart one town away.
“They’ve got real good bargains,” she said of Wal-Mart, echoing a generation of thrifty shoppers.
Never mind that Wal-Mart is a major reason Schumacher no longer has a $12-per-hour job at Huffy Corp.’s bicycle plant. Five years ago, Wal-Mart pressured Huffy to lower the cost of its bikes, so Huffy closed its Celina plant. Schumacher’s job and the job her husband held at Huffy eventually ended up in China.
“We are in business to take care of the customer,” spokeswoman Melissa Berryhill said. “We are going to do what we need to do to deliver everyday low prices to our customers, and we are going to go where we have to go in order to do that.”So to get low prices Wal-Mart ships good jobs overseas thereby creating more poor people that need their everyday low prices. Excellent strategy.
Maybe if we all get minimum wage jobs, Wal-Mart will give their stuff away.