Breaking: Koch Industries’ Outsourcing and Job Loss

In a recent television advertisement Koch Industries touted the growth of the company to create “60,000 American jobs.” The true story paints a picture of Koch Industries’ long history of job losses and outsourcing, resulting in nearly 3,000 American jobs sent overseas.

Outsourcing

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal job training program that provides assistance to workers who lose their jobs as a result of competing foreign imports or direct outsourcing.  An analysis of TAA cases, news articles, shipping records, and layoff notices revealed examples of outsourcing at 13 Koch Industries facilities, and potential outsourcing at additional facilities.

  • In 2003, Koch laid off 150 employees at a KoSa plant in Shelby, North Carolina.  In 2004, the Department of Labor certified that a portion of 150 employees who had been laid off at a plant in Shelby, NC, were eligible for TAA as a result of outsourcing to Mexico.  Former employees at the Shelby facility later filed suit against Koch claiming that the company pushed workers to, according to a former worker, “leave gracefully” or “be victims of downsizing.” (Source)
  • In 2004, Koch outsourced 175 jobs from an Invista plant to Mexico, less than a month after purchasing the plant. Koch Industries had promised to retain all employees.  In late 2006 and early 2007 more workers jobs were outsourced to Mexico, as detailed by the US Court of International Trade. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • In 2004, some 35 workers were laid off at an Invista plant in Athens, Georgia.  In 2006, they were certified eligible for TAA because of outsourcing to Mexico. In 2008, the plant laid off an additional, 50 employees. (Source)
  • In 2004 and 2005, workers at an Invista plant in Waynesboro, VA, were laid off after Koch purchased the facility.  The layoffs coincided with expansion in both Canada and China. In 2006, the workers received TAA assistance, though the Department of Labor made no direct reference to outsourcing. Between 2008 and 2009, 342 employees at the plant were laid off at the same time that Invista was undertaking a huge expansion in China and Canada.  The TAA petition of the laid off workers cited outsourcing in Canada, China, and other parts of Asia. In 2009, the Department of Labor certified that their jobs had been outsourced to Canada. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)
  • In 2007, following an increase in importation of cutlery from China, Dixie Consumer Products, a GP subsidiary, closed a facility that made cutlery in Los Angeles, California, laying off all 260 workers.  The Department of Labor certified that workers who lost their jobs were victims of outsourcing to China. (Source)
  •  In 2008 and 2009, Invista laid off 400 employees at a facility in Seaford, Delaware. The Department of Labor certified that the employees’ jobs had been outsourced to Canada. (Source: 1, 2)
  • In 2009, after beginning to import Angel Soft tissue products from a company with facilities in China and Taiwan Georgia-Pacific laid off a quarter of its workers at a plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, citing outdated machines. In 2010, the Department of Labor verified that their jobs had been outsourced to China, Taiwan, and Canada. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)
  • In 2009, Six weeks before GP’s purchase of the Canadian strand board plants, GP, laid off 80 employees at a Grenada, MS strand board plant.  The Department of Labor certified that the workers were eligible for TAA because of outsourcing. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)
  • In June 2009, an Arkansas State Workforce official filed a petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance on behalf of 300 workers at a GP Plywood Mill in Fordyce, Arkansas that said they believed that production may have shifted to another country.  The Department of Labor certified the workers were eligible for TAA due to increased customer imports. (Sources: 1, 2)
  • In December 2010, The Department of Labor certified that 28 workers who had lost their jobs at a GP Plant in Hamlet, NC had been laid off as a result of outsourcing. (Sources: 1, 2)
  • In September 2010, The Department of Labor certified that 109 workers who lost their jobs in closure of a Georgia Pacific strand board plant in Mount Hope, WV had been laid off as a result of outsourcing to Canada. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)
  • In October 2011, an Arkansas State Workforce official filed a petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance on behalf of 700 workers at a GP plant in Crossett, Arkansas that said the job losses were caused in part by “outsourcing to Brazil and other countries.”  The Department of Labor certified the workers were eligible for TAA due to increased aggregate imports. (Sources: 1, 2)
  • In 2013, the Department of Labor certified that workers at a Georgia-Pacific facility in Halsey, Oregon, were outsourced to China.  The workers were laid off within 6 months after GP Consumer Products began to increase imports of tissue products from China. (Source)

Invista and Georgia Pacific Have Outsourced At Least 2,845 Workers.  

Company Location of Layoffs Approximate Date of Layoffs Date Certified Countries Outsourced to Minimum[1] Number of Employees Laid Off
Georgia-Pacific Green Bay, WI 12/2009 7/0210 China, Taiwan, Canada 158
Georgia-Pacific Green Bay, WI 2012 11/2012 China, Hong Kong 50-80
Georgia-Pacific Halsey, OR 6/2013 11/8/13 China 100
Dixie Consumer Products (GP Subsidiary Los Angeles, CA 8/1/2007 10/23/07 China 260
Georgia-Pacific Wood Products Mount Hope, WV 8/2010 9/22/210 Canada 109
Georgia-Pacific Wood Products Grenada, MS 11/2009 10/1/10 Canada 80
Georgia-Pacific Hamlet, NC 10/10 12/10 Malaysia 28
Georgia-Pacific Crossett, Arkansas 2010-2011 1/4/12 Brazil, “Other Countries” 700
Georgia-Pacific Fordyce, Arkansas 2009 6/10 Unknown 300
Invista Chattanooga, TN 5/20/04 8/20/04 Mexico 175
Invista Chattanooga, TN[2] 11/14/06-1/31/07 9/3/09 and 6/28/10 Mexico Unknown
Invista Waynesboro, VA 2006-2009 3/6/06 and 2/19/09 Canada, Potentially China 400+
Invista Athens, GA 12/15/2004 3/24/06 Mexico 35
Invista Seaford, DE 10/15/2008-2009 2/6/09 Canada, Potentially China 400
Arteva/KoSa (Invista Predecessor) Shelby, NC 10/11/2003 1/12/04 Mexico 150
Total Employees Potentially Outsourced 2,845 or more workers

Read the full outsourcing details here and the full story on Koch job growth claims here.