Sen. Ron Johnson tries making use of brakes to concept of requiring postal automobiles to be in-built Wisconsin | WUWM 89.7 FM

A dispute over whether or not to have a Wisconsin firm construct a brand new fleet of U.S. mail supply automobiles in Wisconsin has entered this yr’s Senate race.

A few yr in the past, the Postal Service reached an enormous settlement to have the Oshkosh Corp. construct as much as 165,000 automobiles. Later, the agency introduced it will construct them at a plant in South Carolina and rent 1,000 individuals. Labor unions and Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin protested, saying United Auto Employees members on the company plant in Oshkosh ought to do the work.

Final week, a brand new growth occurred: the EPA and White Home requested the Postal Service to halt purchases underneath the contract, saying USPS wants to higher handle “critical deficiencies” within the contract’s environmental impression assertion and put it up for public remark.

One challenge is whether or not much more of the automobiles needs to be electrical as a substitute of gasoline-powered.

Over the weekend, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, from Oshkosh and working for reelection this yr, was requested if the postal automobiles needs to be constructed right here.

He mentioned, “Properly, clearly, I am supportive of producing right here in Wisconsin. However on the identical time, I additionally acknowledge that producers have completely different capabilities elsewhere. It isn’t like we do not have sufficient jobs right here in Wisconsin. The most important downside we have now right here in Wisconsin is employers not having the ability to discover sufficient employees.”

Johnson turned to the subject of federal funds paying for the brand new fleet of automobiles and mentioned: “Ultimately, when utilizing federal tax {dollars}, you need to spend these in essentially the most environment friendly means, and if it is more practical, extra environment friendly to spend these in one other state, I haven’t got an actual downside with that.”

U.S. Postal Service supply automobiles exterior the West Allis put up workplace.

No less than two of Johnson’s Democratic opponents on this yr’s Senate election do have an issue with that. Outagamie County Govt Tom Nelson mentioned it is clear the Oshkosh Corp. is attempting to change extra jobs to much less unionized states like South Carolina.

“It is a massive downside, and we have to have a U.S. senator who acknowledges this downside and is aware of how necessary it’s to have good manufacturing jobs as a result of that is how Wisconsinites have put meals on their desk, a roof over their heads. As soon as once more, Ron Johnson has fully checked out. If we will not count on him to face up for jobs in his personal hometown, we will not count on him to face up for anybody,” Nelson informed WUWM.

One other Democrat working for Senate, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, issued a press launch stating, “Ron Johnson doesn’t give a rattling about Wisconsin employees. A U.S. Senator ought to battle tooth and nail to deliver good jobs and taxpayer {dollars} again to our state. As a substitute, he’s simply giving up.”

An Oshkosh Corp. press release final yr mentioned, “Upstate South Carolina has a talented workforce and a confirmed historical past in superior automotive manufacturing.”

However The Guardian news outlet reported final week that labor unions in Wisconsin plan a rally to maintain the warmth on the corporate to construct within the Badger State.

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