The reality of jobs being relocated south of the border has made its impact felt in the area.
This week, Eaton Corporation said that its decision to move 150 jobs from the Spencer plant to a facility in Reynosa, Mexico, is being made to better compete in the global marketplace and to see improved economic efficiencys.
The local jobs are to be eliminated by fall of 2007. Workers were first told of the decision Tuesday. The plant makes piston-pumps and employs about 422.
Mike Blouin, newly returned to the post of director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, reportedly told local officials that he will work to try to salvage the jobs.
An Eaton representative has said that the company will talk to state officials about potential incentives, but sees no possibility of reversing the decision to move the company's assembly and test operations, according to a report by the Spencer Daily Reporter.
Blouin said that companies leaving the U.S. to get cheaper labor may not actually find that they gain in efficiency, or may find the quality of product reduced. "These folks that end up moving out of the country, especially to Mexico, are kidding themselves," he said. "The satisfaction rate down there is so bad they end up moving to a place that is even cheaper yet. So Mexico becomes a pass-through country... it's just so counter-productive."
Eaton officials say the job eliminations will be made gradually, with 60 days notice, starting with temporary workers.