Viasystems Closes Richmond, Va., Circuit Board Plant

'A Betrayal of Workers and the Richmond Community'

- Communications Workers of America



Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Communications Workers of America

    RICHMOND, Va., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Pete
 Catucci, vice president of the Communications Workers of America for the mid-
 Atlantic region, issued the following statement on the announcement by
 Viasystems Group Inc. that it is shutting down its Richmond, Va., facility and
 moving the operation to China:
 
     In 1996, Viasystems Group Inc. bought this plant from Lucent Technologies
 and since then, has expanded its operations to some 34 plants in nine
 countries, in which workers build circuit boards and other electronic
 components for major customers in telecommunications, networking and other
 industries. At that time, some 1,800 employees made sacrifices in wages and
 retirement income to keep their jobs, make the company profitable and invest
 in their future.
     Unfortunately, the workers who helped build Viasystems won't be sharing in
 its success. In today's layoff announcement, the third this year, Viasystems
 pulled the plug on the remaining 900 jobs at the plant.
     Viasystems said it was moving the circuit board manufacturing to China,
 where a system of forced labor and government control translates into an
 hourly wage of just $1.66. Workers at the Richmond plant, largely minority
 workers, earned an average wage of about $18 an hour; these wages enabled them
 to support their families, participate in their communities and contribute to
 the local economy.
     To Viasystems, wages at the Richmond plant are "not competitive" and
 justify the move to China, where human and labor rights are routinely violated
 while multi-national corporations look the other way. To workers at
 Viasystems, members of CWA Local 2260, and to the entire Richmond community,
 this is a sad betrayal.
     This plant has been a mainstay of the Richmond economy since the early
 1970s, starting out as a Western Electric Co. plant, and always providing
 good, quality jobs and wages for Richmond workers.
     Viasystems is an enormously successful company, posting record earnings at
 the end of last year.  In light of the company's success, this shutdown is
 unconscionable. Not only is Viasystems destroying quality American jobs but it
 is supporting sweatshop conditions in a country that has a very poor record of
 workers' rights and human rights overall.
     Members of Congress soon will have the opportunity to vote on whether to
 grant full trade status to China. We'll make sure that our representatives in
 Richmond -- and throughout the nation -- know what this vote really means.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X64217836
 
 

SOURCE Communications Workers of America
    RICHMOND, Va., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Pete
 Catucci, vice president of the Communications Workers of America for the mid-
 Atlantic region, issued the following statement on the announcement by
 Viasystems Group Inc. that it is shutting down its Richmond, Va., facility and
 moving the operation to China:
 
     In 1996, Viasystems Group Inc. bought this plant from Lucent Technologies
 and since then, has expanded its operations to some 34 plants in nine
 countries, in which workers build circuit boards and other electronic
 components for major customers in telecommunications, networking and other
 industries. At that time, some 1,800 employees made sacrifices in wages and
 retirement income to keep their jobs, make the company profitable and invest
 in their future.
     Unfortunately, the workers who helped build Viasystems won't be sharing in
 its success. In today's layoff announcement, the third this year, Viasystems
 pulled the plug on the remaining 900 jobs at the plant.
     Viasystems said it was moving the circuit board manufacturing to China,
 where a system of forced labor and government control translates into an
 hourly wage of just $1.66. Workers at the Richmond plant, largely minority
 workers, earned an average wage of about $18 an hour; these wages enabled them
 to support their families, participate in their communities and contribute to
 the local economy.
     To Viasystems, wages at the Richmond plant are "not competitive" and
 justify the move to China, where human and labor rights are routinely violated
 while multi-national corporations look the other way. To workers at
 Viasystems, members of CWA Local 2260, and to the entire Richmond community,
 this is a sad betrayal.
     This plant has been a mainstay of the Richmond economy since the early
 1970s, starting out as a Western Electric Co. plant, and always providing
 good, quality jobs and wages for Richmond workers.
     Viasystems is an enormously successful company, posting record earnings at
 the end of last year.  In light of the company's success, this shutdown is
 unconscionable. Not only is Viasystems destroying quality American jobs but it
 is supporting sweatshop conditions in a country that has a very poor record of
 workers' rights and human rights overall.
     Members of Congress soon will have the opportunity to vote on whether to
 grant full trade status to China. We'll make sure that our representatives in
 Richmond -- and throughout the nation -- know what this vote really means.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X64217836
 
 SOURCE  Communications Workers of America