Jobs saved in Mississippi after company decides not to move production to Mexico

City and chamber officials said Friday they are happy Eaton will not be moving any jobs from its Vicksburg plant to Mexico.

“After speaking with Eaton’s management today it became clear that they were no longer going to move the 50-plus jobs to Mexico as they had announced in July 2017,” said Pablo Diaz, the executive director for the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce.

The company announced in July it planned to move two of it outdoor lighting production lines from Vicksburg to its lighting production facility in Juarez, Mexico, because of competitive market conditions. The move was expected to affect 50 to 70 people.

“Following further review, we’ve decided not to move forward with the plans as previously announced,” Ann Marie Halal, Eaton external communications manager, said in a written comment.

“There have been no employee reductions at Vicksburg related to the previous plans.”

She said Eaton has also announced plans to bring two new production lines to Vicksburg, but would not say if the move will result in new jobs.

“I applaud them on their business decision,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “That’s the greatest news I’ve heard for 2018 and going forward for the city of Vicksburg. I continue to say we have path to the future and it’s a great opportunity, but also at the same time I’m extremely glad for the families that would have been affected by layoffs.”

Diaz called the news awesome.

“This is great news for the workers at Eaton, for our community, and we are ecstatic at the good news. We believe Eaton’s reversal signals a recognition by industry that our county, city and country are moving fast towards a more friendly business environment that supports job retention and spurs further job creation.

“We stand ready as a community and as an economic development entity to support Eaton as they continue to succeed and grow in Vicksburg and Warren County.”

Eaton acquired Cooper Industries PLC, the parent company of the then- Cooper Lighting in Vicksburg, in a deal valued at an estimated $11.46 billion.

The plant’s 51-acre site on U.S. 61 South housed Westinghouse Electric from 1953 to 1982 and later Crouse Hinds until it became Cooper Lighting before its acquisition by Eaton.

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