Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Newell Rubbermaid moves Vice Grip to China

The venerable American icon- Vise-Grip

Well, one by one American manufacturers are selling the American manufacturing base to a communist owned and run society. Vise-Grip, an icon to every mechanic, homeowner, farmer and American repairman that ever worked on anything is closing it's doors in Dewitt, Nebraska where they have manufactured these amazing locking grip wonderments since 1938.

A man named Bill Peterson invented this handy tool and patented it in 1924. There have been many impostors along the way. Craftsman tried their best to have someone else manufacture a line of locking jaw pliers but they just didn't measure up to the real thing.

Newell Rubbermaid purchased Irwin tool in 2003 and it was probably already decided at that time when they would draw out the dagger and put it in the backs of the American workers and consumers. Newell Rubbermaid acquired Irwin tools so they could put another factory on their long list of acquisitions and closings in the mistaken notion of increasing their bottom line.

This is the what is known as "Branding". A company like Newell Rubbermaid buys up a famous brand product like Vice-Grip, shuts the down the American factory, lays off hundreds of people and moves the manufacturing to China. There the product is produced with inferior raw materials and a streamlined manufacturing process that produces and inferior product. They ship it back from China in a new fancy bubble package and sell the product as if nothing has changed until customers realize that this is not the quality product they were accustomed to. A few years later after diminishing sales because of an inferior product and customer backlash, the company then sells the name off to someone else but the product is still made in China with inferior materials and customers eventually stop purchasing the product. After a short time they sell the name off to another holding company looking for a quick profit but by then Vise-Grip is only a memory talked about at coffee breaks at the repair shop or the barn where farmer Joe talks with the neighbor about the price of corn and that old tractor still sitting there.

The plant closing in Dewitt, Nebraska will be just in time for elections. I'm sure the townspeople that have worked there for so many years will now be voting for globalization and handing China our manufacturing base. That's a security plan that is sure to win. Corporate bean counters have no idea about America and the Americans that built it. One day we will have the last laugh on them and we will be standing over them with our feet across their throats.

Here are the "Brands" that Newell Rubbermaid now sell.

Cleaning and organizing- Rubbermaid, Levelor, Kirch

Home and Family- Calphalon, Goody, Graco

Tools and hardware- Irwin, Irwin Vice-Grip, Lenox, Bernzomatic, Bulldog Hardware, Shurline, Amerock

Office Supplies
- Sharpie, Parker, Papermate, Waterman, Rolodex, Dymo, Expo

From the cover of the Newell Rubbermaid 2007 shareholder report:

Our transformation is accelerating
We will generate sustainable growth
by building a consumer-driven branding company;
increase productivity and efficiency by
optimizing our supply chain and leveraging One
Newell Rubbermaid; and change our culture
to foster a globally collaborative organization
that produces best-in-class results.

Watch what happens next...

Yeah, what happens next is American manufacturing is further reduced and the people and traditions that made this country great are ignored and their jobs are sent to communist China for 30 pieces of silver.

Look, no one ever said that we must buy everything we own from American manufacturers. It has never been possible to do. I'm saying that we need to send the message to corporate bean counters that we aren't going to take this lying down anymore. Companies that just take good paying jobs with benefits and ship them overseas to make pennies on their stock is self defeating, dishonest and despicable. I have no problem with buying products from countries that are our allies and treat their workers like human beings but for goodness sakes they're handing our manufacturing base over to people that would destroy and enslave us. What's wrong with this picture?

You should not buy any products from this company and you should write to them to voice your opposition and disgust with their corporate irresponsibility.

Newell Rubbermaid
10B Glenlake Parkway,
Suite 300Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 407-3800

or at their website

Newell Rubbermaid feedback


Steiner Customer Service said...

Hey this is a great blog you have here! I LOVE your list of where to buy items made in the USA and your resources. I found you through MyTractorForum. It is becoming increasingly difficult to buy American made products. We are a distribution warehouse for new parts for old tractors. We have lost so many of our factories in the US as the automotive industry has moved tools overseas. Smaller Automotive factories used to be able to "squeeze in" a small custom job for us at a reasonable price and time frame, but not anymore. So, as the automakers have moved overseas, so have we. We still have lots of sheet metal and chrome pieces and switches that are made in the USA, but hardly any cast iron. All of the old foundries have gone out of business. I support your cause and I will continue to read and enjoy your blog. This is really useful!!!

J_G said...

Thanks for stopping by. There are still many things made in the USA but it's getting tougher and tougher as many companies looking for the fast buck choose the communist Chinese over American workers to manufacture their products.

There comes a point when Americans just have to stand up to the bean counters and just say we're not taking it anymore.

I bought an ignition coil and didn't ask first "where it was made" for my little green tractor and when I got it I found that it was made in China. It never worked, it never sparked once but I was told there are no returns on electrical items.

Now, to avoid being ripped off by those selling Chinese junk I ask "where is it made" first before any exchange of money is done. Despite the initial low cost of an item made in China many times the buyer will have to either purchase the item or exchange the item numerous times (plus the outrageous shipping charges paid by the buyer) to get the part that works or fits or is acceptable.

Then you have to hassle with the seller because they are selling this junk on their own low margins so they have no other choice but to push this junk off on the buyer and make returns as difficult as possible just to stay in business for the short amount of time they plan on being in business. This is same short term thinking of corporate bean counters. Short term profit, long term uncertainty for hard working American customers.

I finally got my little green tractor running with a coil that was made in the USA and I threw the useless Chinese junk in the trash having learned another lesson about asking first.

Most people would appreciate it if businesses that do sell items made in communist China that they would prominently display that information on the page that the item is sold so an informed decision can be made. It should read "Proudly Made in China" in the product description.

When you buy something made in the USA it is usually displayed as "Proudly Made in the USA" the same standard of information should apply. If a business is proud enough to sell something then they should be proud of where the product is made and by whom.

Ortho said...

Wow, great reporting. I will not spend my American dollars on any more Newell Rubbermaid products. Thanks for sharing this horrible news.

J_G said...

Good, that will be one less Newell Rubbermaid customer.

WhyBuyMadeInUSA.com said...

Hello, thanks for writing about Newell Rubbermaid's closing of the Vise-Grip plant. I mentioned it in my post Is Rubbermaid "Made In USA"? and linked back to your article.

J_G said...

I've added a link to your blog in my Valuable Resources links section Why Buy Made in USA.

WhyBuyMadeInUSA.com said...

J_G: thanks very much! I appreciate that you linked to whybuymadeinusa.com

We have a common goal. Thanks for the writing you've done on this issue.

Hal said...

Hey - I wrote before about my friend's website that sells Weinbrenner shoes. Well he now made a site that is called www.theunionbootpro.com that ONLY lists the boots (main work boots) that are made in Wisconsin. That way you don't have to even try to guess which ones are made in the USA.


StfRon said...

Thanks for a good blog- My wife and I have been buying US made products for over 5 years now, and it gets more and more difficult. I just purchased a pair of vice grips, and opted to pay the 27$ for the US made over the 5$ version. Sad to see this brand go as well.

J_G said...

Hal and stfron, thanks for stopping by. If you have any suggestions feel free to drop in and let me know what you have found. Thanks again.