Energizer posts plans to close Wisconsin battery plants

Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 10:12 PM CST
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PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) - Third Shift Packaging Lead Sarah Cheever said she found out she was losing her job from a paper tacked to the wall of a Portage Energizer employee breakroom. Energizer’s ‘Shutdown Plan’ will reportedly result in phased closures of both Portage and Fenimore manufacturing facilities

Energizer Holdings posts shutdown plan
Energizer Holdings posts shutdown plan(Marcus Aarsvold)

Cheever shared a picture of the plans with NBC15 News and said the above image was the first official word the manufacturing department heard from Energizer Holdings corporate office.

According to the posting, layoffs will start in October and and will continue in phases until everyone’s position is eliminated in June of 2024.

Rumors regarding closure and job outsourcing outside of United States have been circulating for months, but the Shutdown Plan was posted in the Portage and Fennimore breakrooms this week.

”We were all in the dark. We really didn’t know what was going to happen,” Cheever said. ”I thought I had a secure future here with Energizer. I like my job and I completely expected to retire from here someday and now I’m going to have to pickup and start fresh somewhere else.”

Cheever has nine children and worries about her future income, if another job will work with her husband’s schedule and if Energizer will provide a decent severance package.

“We’re pretty much down to zero morale,” she said. “There’s a lot of complaining and nobody is happy.”

According to Cheever, some of her fellow employees have already quit.

An Energizer Holdings spokesperson declined an on-camera interview, but provided the following statement on Friday:

“Energizer Holdings recently met with representatives from Local 695 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters regarding our intent to conduct a phased closing of our Portage and Fennimore facilities in Wisconsin. We have no plans to close additional facilities. As we work toward a final resolution in Wisconsin, we will continue to focus on our colleagues – the people closest to this issue and who matter most.”

Cheever said she and other employees do not feel as though the aforementioned statement is genuine.

”We’re the closest people impacted, the employees here at the plant, and we’re really not hearing anything,” she said.

The closure will eliminate about 600 local jobs.

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