Rockwell Automation sheds last manufacturing and support positions at Second Street facility

The last 140 manufacturing and support positions Rockwell Automation’s Milwaukee headquarters, 1201 S. Second St., worked their last shift on Friday. Most of the employees worked in the company’s landscaping, cafeteria and other service areas, while a handful worked in the limited heat treating operations the company had in its downtown facility, said Bob Granum, president of United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1111.

The company and UE Local 1111 reached terms for the workers’ severance package in late June.

While some of the positions have been moved to Rockwell’s facilities in Mequon, Ladysmith, Rhinelander, Iowa, Mexico, China or the Dominican Republic, functions like landscaping and maintenance will be done by outside contractors.

“We’ve lost (thousands) of jobs since the mid 1970s through attrition,” Granum said. “As (workers) retired, they didn’t re-hire for that position. This was nothing new."

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