President Barack Obama told Congress in his State of the Union speech that "no workers are more productive than ours … we know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time."
And no workplace better reflects America's commitment to excellence than the Philips Luminaires plant in the little town of Sparta, Tenn. The 40-year-old lighting fixture plant has won numerous awards, being named one of North America's 10 best plants in 2009 by Industry Week magazine. It even won Philips' own "lean" manufacturing award last fall.
And this summer, it will begin production of energy-efficient LED light fixtures, which are in increasing demand as incandescent bulbs are phased out.
But now the Netherlands-based Philips has pulled the plug on Sparta, announcing last November that it was shutting the plant down and moving most of the work to Mexico by next year.
Why? Philips has not given a reason. Perhaps CEO Gerard Kleisterlee thinks that in the midst of record unemployment we won't care about one more plant shutdown. That we won't notice more good manufacturing jobs being outsourced to China or Mexico; that we don't know that Philips' profits are up.
But he's wrong - community and small business leaders, elected officials and union activists are standing together to tell Philips: Keep the Lights On in Sparta - Save American Jobs.
And they want you to join them.
Tell the CEO of Philips: We need good jobs here in America. No more outsourcing. Enough is enough.
The ripple effect from this closure goes beyond Sparta. If Philips can get away with outsourcing good jobs from an award-winning plant, no worker's job is safe.
Philips' employees and the people of Sparta need your help. Join the campaign to save American jobs.
Sign this electronic petition to Philips today. We'll deliver it, with your name, to CEO Kleisterlee himself.
We can stand together to save good American jobs.
Please send a message today. There is power in numbers. Together we can make a difference.