The IAM, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, are urging Setterstix, Inc. CEO Eric Pritchard to reconsider its decision to close its current Cattaraugus, NY facility. Setterstix makes paper sticks for use in Tootsie Roll pops, Dum-Dum suckers, cotton swabs, and other novelty items. Setterstix announced its intent to cease production in October 2020 and move its operation to Fountain Inn, South Carolina.
IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr., wrote a letter to receive Congressman Tom Reed’s help in saving nearly 40 IAM jobs at the New York state plant.
“Undoubtedly, your district is suffering from unemployment, and your constituents continue to lose jobs due to the coronavirus,” said Martinez. “We need to work together to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs in Western New York, and we would like to know if you have any legislative plans to help workers in your district? We know we cannot save every company, but we are asking for your help in reaching out to Setterstix and have them reconsider their decision to move its facility to South Carolina.”
Rep. Reed responded by writing a letter to the Setterstix CEO to reconsider its decision to vacate the facility.
“Leaving this area would cause hardship on those families you would leave behind in the wake, as well as a decrease in the local economy,” said Reed. “We were glad to see Setterstix was able to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and would encourage you to look into this program once again to help keep those jobs in our local community.”
“The IAM members working at Setterstix play a huge role in this company’s success, and the plant closure and relocation feel like a betrayal,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “I applaud Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Rep. Tom Reed for fighting to protect these jobs and the community. We will continue to shine a light on companies that leave workers stuck and left helpless.”
Majority Leader Schumer also weighed in with a letter to CEO Pritchard.
“I am calling upon you and your parent company, Setter GMBH, to make good on your commitment towards job retention and to work with local officials and union personnel to continue operations in Cattaraugus,” said Schumer. “It is my fervent hope that you can work towards strengthening your company through continued commitment to your facility in Cattaraugus.”
“The Setterstix plant closure and relocation dealt another blow to the upstate New York community, said District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “Our members worked hard and are a crucial part in making iconic candy brands. Unfortunately, this type of action is becoming the norm for so many hardworking men and women in western New York. I commend our Union, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Rep. Tom Reed for fighting to save our community.”
The Setterstfix facility has been operating in Cattaraugus, NY, since 1938 and is one of the largest employers in the area. The company took $571 thousand in PPP loans under the premise of saving the New York state facility jobs.