Lights Out for Philips Lighting [PHIL-OSOPHY]
It's always sad to see workers lose their jobs and manufacturing companies in the area shut down and move away. After laying off 160 workers last year in Fall River, Philips Lighting is selling off its 300,000-square foot plant in the city's industrial park and cutting its last ties to the community.
No websites have the property listed yet, so it's possible Philips is giving other industrial park businesses first offering. No price has been mentioned.
It was a year ago, April 20, 2018, that the company announced it would shut down operations in Fall River and move them to Monterrey, Mexico, while the research and development would go to Quebec, Canada.
Yet, I remember a time when great American icons were born. Companies like General Motors, Boeing, Westinghouse, Maytag and Levi Strauss became household names, and American manufacturing became synonymous with quality and ingenuity.
But like the cooling towers in Fall River, American manufacturing has imploded since 1965 when it accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 1988, it fell to 39 percent and in 2004, it plummeted to nine percent. Why? Globalization, outsourcing, and high taxes. Think about all the jobs lost. What does the decline in manufacturing mean to the average American family? People become poorer and the standard of living goes down.
Between more automation coming and people around the world willing to work for very little, it hits me hard to see local companies pack up and leave.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.