February 16. 2012 2:00AM - Last modified: March 15. 2012 12:59PM

Obama showcases Master Lock’s union shop

  

President Barack Obama showcased Master Lock Company LLC as an American manufacturer that is ‘insourcing" jobs back into the United States.

Obama toured Master Lock's Milwaukee plant and spoke to an enthusiastic crowd that included Master Lock employees, who are members of the United Auto Workers (UAW).

"Over the last 23 months, businesses have added nearly 3.7 million new jobs. Manufacturing is coming back. Companies are starting to bring jobs back. The economy is getting stronger. The recovery is speeding up. We're moving in the right direction," Obama said.

"So when (Master Lock CEO) John Heppner was at the White House in January, he told me how it makes more business sense for Master Lock to bring jobs back home here to Milwaukee," Obama said. "And today, for the first time in 15 years, this plant is running at full capacity. And that's an example of what happens when unions and employers work together to create good jobs. Today, you're selling products directly to customers in China stamped with those words:  Made In America. And the good news is this is starting to happen around the country. For the first time since 1990, American manufacturers are creating new jobs. That's good for the companies, but it's also good up and down the supply chain, because if you're making this stuff here, that means that there are producers and suppliers in and around the area who have a better chance of selling stuff here. It means the restaurant close by suddenly has more customers. Everybody benefits when manufacturing is going strong."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker greeted Obama at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport but canceled on his plan to accompany the president at Master Lock, where the company's union workplace was celebrated.

Walker said he had the stomach flu.

To view a photographic slideshow of Obama's Master Lock appearance, click here.

- BizTimes Milwaukee


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