It’s good to see some sensible voices rising above the fray.
The outdoor power equipment industry, including Ariens Co., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Kohler Co. and others employs tens of thousands of people in Wisconsin. Headed into spring, it normally would be cranking out products to be shipped around the world.
“With the number of jobs in this industry, from Milwaukee to Brillion to Kohler to Tomah, I would consider it essential,” Ariens said, adding that he was sending the governor a letter pleading to keep the plants open.
“I am telling him that we will take care of our employees as we care for our families by following the CDC best-safety practices and advice. We don’t need to have the government teach us responsibility,” Ariens said.
Kohler and Briggs have the excuse that their engines are part of power-generating equipment, obviously “essential.” Ariens and Toro, not so much.
What Toro and Ariens worry about is losing their workforce, particularly the low-to mid-level professionals. Kohler and Briggs have similar exposure, albeit less. Briggs can run its engine plant, but any Simplicity operations….nope.
Given the goal is to drive the April unemployment number above 50%,….