C&D to lay off 120 in Milwaukee

C&D Technologies Inc. will relocate some of production from its Milwaukee facility to a plant in Reynosa, Mexico.
While the Milwaukee facility will remain, the move eliminates 120 local jobs. About 100 employees will remain at the plant, 900 E. Keefe Ave.
The company completed a comprehensive business evaluation and cited “intense competitive pricing pressure” as the reason for moving its power system product lines to Mexico. C&D said many of its competitors have also moved production to Mexico for cost reasons.
“This was a difficult decision but one that is sound and will allow us to continue production in Milwaukee,” said Jeffrey Graves, C&D president and chief executive officer.  “Over the last five years, we have invested over $20 million to modernize our Milwaukee facility, streamline production, remove costs and improve efficiencies.  Over the past several months, we were able to structure a solution that keeps C&D here and will help us realize those efficiencies.  We’ve been a part of this community since 1999, and my hope is that we will be able to continue to make a business case for staying in Milwaukee in the years to come.”
C&D, based in Blue Bell, Pa., manufactures reserve power systems and electronic power supplies. It has three other U.S. factories and another foreign operation in Shanghai, China.
The company is in the research and development stages of a federally funded lithium-ion battery program, which it said is not affected by the layoffs. C&D plans to start production on that line in Milwaukee by the end of 2013.

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