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Tentative agreement between Kimberly Clark and United Steelworkers could save Cold Spring location

 

Hundreds of jobs could be saved thanks to an agreement between Kimberly Clark and the United Steelworkers.

Kimberly Clark has two facilities in the Fox Cities that are scheduled to close.    

But if the state senate is on board with the steelworkers' plan and that plan is paired with tax incentives, one of the facilities could remain open.

Kimberly Clark announced in January it would be closing several of its facilities across the country as part of a global re-structuring plan.

A tentative collective bargaining agreement has been struck between Kimberly Clark and the United Steelworkers.

Now the state senate says it's up to them to keep hundreds of jobs in the Fox Valley.

"I'm excited to have that in our court right now and I'm encouraging the majority leader, beginning to work with members right now, to let them know how important it is," says Wisconsin senate president Roger Roth. "I'm hoping we can bring this in as quickly as possible to pass this bill." 

The bill would allow the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to give Kimberly Clark payroll tax credits and capitol expenditure tax credits for money being put into the Cold Spring facility in the village of Fox Crossing.

"This is about the paper industry, one of the bed rocks in Wisconsin," says Roth. "The paper industry exist almost all over the state of Wisconsin and to know that the state is going to come in here and help out to keep one of these companies here and to keep these jobs here is an important thing."

A Kimberly Clark spokesperson told Local 5 it would continue to engage with the union on what steps to take next and that's music to the ears of KC employees.

"I'm hoping for the best," says one KC employee.

Because Roth says these jobs are too valuable to go to waste.

"The jobs that we're saving here, these are jobs that are between $65,000 and $75,000 a year jobs that you can walk into without a college degree," he says. "And when jobs like these leave our state they're not going to come back."

Gov. Scott Walker released a statement Tuesday in regard to the agreement:

"The agreement reached between Kimberly-Clark and the United Steelworkers is outstanding news, and we look forward to working with senate leaders and the company to keep hundreds of good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the Fox Valley."