The election’s over, but we’re going to keep publishing, sharing information, organizing with 695 members. Here we have some news roundups about Teamster-represented shops in our local.

Energizer Battery (Portage)


PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) – City officials are confident the Energizer battery manufacturing plant in Portage will stay open, despite closing rumors.

NBC15 News looked into an anonymous tip from an employee that manufacturers at Energizer plants in Fennimore and Portage were told the future of their jobs wasn’t certain.

City of Portage Mayor Mitchel Craig and Director of Business Development Steven Sobiek heard speculation the plants could be closing from current employees, so they decided to look into the concerns.

Craig and Sobiek reached out to Energizer’s corporate office in St. Louis, Missouri, and asked if there was validity to the rumors. According to Craig and Sobiek, the battery manufacturer’s legal counsel told them the company is experiencing financial loss due to supply shortages, but there are not plans to close the Portage plant…

Moody’s Investor Services downgrades City Brewery rating


New York, December 15, 2022 — Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) today downgraded City Brewing Company, LLC’s (“City”, “City Brewing” or “the company”) corporate family rating (CFR) to Caa2 from B3, Probability of Default Rating to Caa2-PD from B3-PD, and the rating on the company’s senior secured bank credit facilities to Caa2 from B3. The rating outlook remains negative.

The downgrade to Caa2 was prompted by a weaker than expected third quarter ended September 2022 which failed to show anticipated recovery sequentially or year over year over an already weak 2nd half of 2021.  Operating results had already deviated materially from original growth and cash flow expectations in 2021 as expansion in the hard seltzer market slowed, leaving excess inventory in trade channels for City’s largest customers. Key customers pulled back on orders until the inventory overhang could be cleared, which in turn made City less efficient because it did not downscale its cost structure immediately due to concerns about worker shortages. City Brewing also expected the pull back to be temporary. Although the company said that the inventory overhang was cleared by mid 2022, persistent supply chain and labor availability challenges have slashed efficiency and made it difficult for the company to meet demand. Furthermore, the hard seltzer market has continued to see lower demand than anticipated this year and the category will experience a seasonal low over the next quarter or so which will make Q4 challenging. Exacerbating these issues, equipment delivery delays for new lines at the Irwindale brewery meant that the company missed the ability to fulfill orders for the key summer selling season and may not regain some of those customers until the new calendar year when contracts reset. The company has been challenged with labor issues including a one-week strike at its Latrobe facility, higher labor costs, and a high turnover rate and difficulty recruiting at its Memphis facility, normally one of its most productive…

Saputo Cheese closes one plant, opens another


Canadian dairy major Saputo is to close a cheese plant in the US, impacting 200 employees.

The Toronto-listed firm plans to shutter the goat’s cheese manufacturing facility in Belmont, Wisconsin, but will invest CAD45m (US$34.7m) to convert its mozzarella plant in Reedsburg, in the same state, to goat cheese.

Saputo said the moves are intended to “further streamline its manufacturing footprint in its US”.

It added: “This announcement marks the continuation of the company’s network optimisation programme that plays an integral role in its global strategic plan designed to enhance operations and accelerate organic growth across its platforms.”

Saputo said converting the Reedsburg facility into a goat’s cheese manufacturing plant will “increase capacity, expand our position in growing speciality cheese categories, and improve productivity”.

It said mozzarella production will be transferred to other existing Saputo facilities in the US, “increasing capacity utilisation, improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs”.

With regard to the 200 employees affected by the Belmont facility closure, Saputo said they will be provided with financial support, including severance…”

Madison Metro Transit Breaks Ground on Bus Rapid Transit