The news that Wausau Paper Corp. will be laying off 450 workers was sad and unfortunately familiar to those of us living under Gov. Scott Walker’s rule. What’s interesting is that Wausau Paper’s President & CEO is also the chair of the corporate special interest lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce — a group that has been pushing a survey showing optimism among it’s “job-creating” members.
News of layoffs is familiar of course, because despite all the corporate giveways Gov. Walker could dream up, Wisconsin’s economy is among the worst in the nation. And yet, every pro-corporate front group and spokespuppet is touting the survey from WMC that suggests Gov. Walker’s corporate takeover of our state is working:
Ask a chamber of commerce executive in Wisconsin how the business climate is today, and you’re likely to hear “Wisconsin is open for business.”
With the highest participation in five years, nearly 90 Wisconsin chamber of commerce executives participated in the annual economic outlook survey compiled by the state chamber of commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
WMC has even taking to defend Gov. Walker against recall, writing:
Governor Walker has a strong pro-jobs record.
We cannot sit idly by and allow pro-business elected officials to be recalled because of their courage.
The group has a huge list of Gov. Walker’s “Victories” for business, including his infamous tax breaks for corporations and the rich, among others.
And yet, despite all the supposed optimism from the suits at WMC, its very own chair, Thomas Howatt, will be laying off 450 workers at the Wausau Paper Corp. next year.