The future is uncertain for Wisconsin Energizer battery plants

Teamsters Local Union No. 695 sent a letter to union members on January 17, 2023 warning Energizer employees that the corporation was planning to close.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:25 PM CST
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PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) - The future of Energizer battery manufacturing plants in Portage and Fennimore is uncertain as local and national unions release statements saying the corporate office plans to move operations to England and North Carolina.

Teamsters Local Union No. 695 sent a letter to union members on January 17, 2023 warning Energizer employees that the corporation was planning to close its Wisconsin operations.

The National Teamsters Union sent a statement to NBC15 News writing in part:

“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is fighting plans by Energizer to outsource good-paying jobs, after the company announced intentions to close its battery plants in Fennimore and Portage, Wisc. The company told workers and Teamster representatives it plans to offshore American manufacturing jobs and send others to a nonunion facility in North Carolina.

Nearly 600 Wisconsin workers at the two plants are members of Teamsters Local 695.

The company told the Teamsters it plans to close the plants in Fennimore and Portage in the next 12-24 months, providing few details or information about the planned closures.”

National Teamsters Union

Energizer Corporate Communications Representative Jennifer Maxfield responded with the following statement:

“Energizer Holdings is in communications with our colleagues and their union representatives about the future of our Fennimore and Portage facilities in Wisconsin. We will continue to focus on our colleagues – the people closest to this issue and who matter the most – as we work toward a final resolution.”

Portage Mayor Mitch Craig said he is working with Governor Tony Evers’ staff to negotiate with Energizer and keep the Wisconsin plants open.

“There’s nothing confirmed that they are closing the plant,” Craig said. “But there’s nothing confirmed that they’re staying open either.”

Rumors of a closure began circulating one month ago and viewers reached out to NBC15 News asking for updates.

Back in December, Mayor Craig said Energizer employees assured him the Portage plant would remain open.

Battery manufacturers would not speak on-camera, but express that they’re frustrated by the uncertainty. They said they’ve not heard new information since December and some are worried they’ll need to find new jobs.

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