A few weeks back we pointed out a couple of the reasons that businesses are fleeing California by the 1,000's ("3 Simple Charts That Help Explain Why 9,000 Businesses Have Left California In Just 7 Years"). Clearly the implementation of a State-wide $15 minimum wage hasn't helped "lure" business owners.
On Friday, Ashley Furniture's 840 employees working in the company's production and warehouse facility in Colton, California became the latest victims of California's minimum wage hike. Ashley announced they would be leaving open their retail store in Colton, but would be relocating the production facility that accounts for most of the location's jobs. Per the San Bernadino Sun, Ashley Furniture released the following statements about the closure:
We thank our employees for all their hard work, but closing these plants on Oct. 25 and rebalancing our manufacturing mix strengthens production capability and cost structure and will help ensure Ashley’s continued ability to compete effectively long-term in the global marketplace from a U.S. base.
The majority of production in Colton will move to U.S. plants in Wisconsin, Mississippi and North Carolina.
By shifting the majority of Colton production to other U.S. facilities we will create more efficiency and better use of existing capacity in our manufacturing network.
Certainly, it's not surpurprising that Ashley would choose to relocate their California prodcution capacity to Wisconsin, North Carolina and Mississippi given that they each sport minimum wages that are a mere 52% lower than California's proposed $15 floor.
But, as per the norm, misinformed politicians rarely seem to take the heat for their reckless policies as Ashley employees prepared to protest the layoffs in Colton.
“We cannot let companies like Ashley bleed the American dream,” Naja said. “It’s not only the employees, but the families, the kids, the wives. They’ve got wives with medical situations and things like that. There’s no way a huge company like Ashley’s can shut down the doors.”
“We’re going to be here making a protest and we’re calling everybody that can come to please support us and find out what they did to us,” Zuniga said. “Come and support all the hard-working employees and parents that take income to their house. I’m the only one supporting my family. I’m the only one paying a mortgage.”
Might we kindly suggest the better place to hold your protest would be in front of Jerry Brown's office in Sacramento.