Norwood to shutter San Antonio plant, lay off 345 workers – San Antonio Business Journal

bic graphic

The good news of Norwood’s expansion in Red Wing is tempered by this announcement. Also,  99 jobs at the corporate office in Indianapolis are being moved to Bic Graphic headquarters in Clearwater, FL.

A sad day for so many.  It sounds as if much of the work from the San Antonio facility will be transferred to Red Wing. What that will mean in terms of jobs in uncertain.

Norwood to shutter San Antonio plant, lay off 345 workers – San Antonio Business Journal:.

Norwood Announcement

Update: Here is a link to an article from “my SA news,” which gives more background on the issue.

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41 Comments

Filed under Economic Development, Minnesota, Red Wing

41 responses to “Norwood to shutter San Antonio plant, lay off 345 workers – San Antonio Business Journal

  1. Carol Duff

    As you have said, we beat out Florida and Texas who have lower taxes for these jobs. Hooray for the workers of Norwood who so impressed management. It is the people of Red Wing who make success happen.

    • Anonymous

      Redwing will never be able to do the job that was done in Texas. They have no idea what they are in for. Bic made a big mistake and that will show in time. They are going to need San Antonio employees to show them how to do the job right.

      • Carol Duff

        We’d love to have you come to Red Wing. I think you’d find a friendly bunch of people who would value your skills.

      • My heart goes out to all those in San Antonio and Indianapolis who have lost their jobs. These decisions are brutal.

        • Anonymous

          Brutal is not the word, I think the word you are looking for is back stabbing. The people of Redwing new what was going to happen for a long time. When was it exactly the date when expanding the Redwing facility approved? The Redwing facility could never house the amount of work that is done in San Antonio. This decision was made a long time ago.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you Kent. We all understand it is just business as usual but for the people involved there is nothing usual about it. There are people working there that have been there for 30 years, there are also married couples that work there and are losing their entire family income. It is sad beyond words. I hope that BIC can somewhat compensate for all of the damage to the families involved.

          • And tax policies are used to pick winners and losers, all at the cost of workers. We really need to rethink the human cost of so called “economic development.”

            • Anonymous

              I know and I am so sick of the political BS I could scream. We are all human beings and without compassion(a human trait) we would all just be animals. I think the Amish are still holding on to the helping thy neighbor thing and sometimes I think we could all use a little bit of their knowledge when it comes to that. I hope that everyone involved in this comes out ahead and there are no major casualties but I think that is wishful thinking on my part.

          • Carol Duff

            I hope so too. And I hope the Red Wing workers can be compassionate also. This is going on all over. Lives are changed forever. Good people are left with the struggle of relocating or searching for other work.

            • Anonymous

              Carol It was the way it was done as well. You mentioned Redwing beat out Texas and Flordia. When did this turn into a competition? You and the employees from Redwing just don’t get it until it happens to you. My guess is pretty soon. I hope Redwing enjoys their new facility.

    • Anonymous

      I am truly sorry that you initially placed ths blog without any th

    • Anonymous

      I am truly sorry that you placed this blog with no consideration of the friends and family members of those affected by these closures. The EMPLOYEES unfortunately had absolutely no control over this situation. This decision was made long ago and with no consideration of the employees or their families. It is quite apparent that this was all about the numbers game. I wish Red Wing all the luck but will say you have a long hard road ahead. I hope that the people can keep making success happen and keep on impressing management. Good Luck!

  2. You are so right, the workers deserve the credit.

    Maybe some Republican Legislators will quit telling everyone how bad things are for business in Minnesota.

  3. Anonymous

    Brutal does no justice. The worst part of it all is that the Redwing facility knew this was going to happen for months. How ironic that the local paper in Redwing released an article back in November 2009 announcing the expansion of their facility. Redwing has been a part of the Norwood family that San Antonio helped establish many years ago. To compete against a sister company for jobs is wrong in every way. But it is no surprise, Redwing has longed to be the spotlight of Norwood acting more as cheerleaders who dance for Bic. Their is no way they will ever be able to do the job San Antonio did and it will only be a matter of months before they fail. Customers are not gonna be happy and I gurantee it. Becoming a part of the Norwood family was a huge mistake. We were better off as RCC Koozie. You’re welcome Redwing for the new jobs you are about to receive!!!

    • Anonymous

      You seem to be blaming the town and the whole facility in Red Wing. We were told of the expansion of the building a while ago, however we were told it was to replace our offsite warehouse which makes complete sense. Never were we told that it was for a consolidation. The employees in Red Wing were as shocked at this decision as you were. We have been through 3 consolidations in that last 5 years so believe me when I say that the office and factory workers (the one’s that will be obsorbing most of the blow) did NOT want or ask for this to happen. Do you know what it means to add a couple hundred jobs at one time? It means that everyone and their brother will be hired. It means that we will be getting employees that aren’t going to be good at what they do because they don’t care. It means that those of us who know what we are doing are going to have to work twice as hard to make up for those who don’t know or don’t care. I’m very sorry that 345 people of San Antonio are loosing their jobs (if they do not choose to move to Minnesota) but we did not ask for this to happen and there is no reason we should be blamed for it.

  4. Distibutor

    This a huge lost to the City of San Antonio. I love doing business with RCC/Norwood only. They have been very good to my company. I avoid business with the other Norwood lines. All the other lines are unorganized and their customer service is horrible! RCC is more of a family oriented facility. I’m curious as a distributor to see how a small town like Redwing will be able to fill the demans of a brutal industry. Also, how does Bic fit into the Promotional Products Industry. I think they need to stick to what they know. Pens and Lighters.

    Good Luck San Antonio and you will be missed.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for that comment and I am sure that all of the employees at the San Antonio facility appreciate both your praise and concerns.

  5. Cheryl Miller

    I am also a Texas distributor and am very curious to see how the Red Wing Crew will pull this off. I have done business with Norwood RCC from the very beginning and I have established a great relationship with many of the employees there. Custom Crest is also based in Texas and I will for sure be using them a whole lot more than Norwood. I refuse to pay ridiculous FOB freight from MN when I am in Texas. I have also worked with Red Wing Pillowline customer service and they I don’t feel like they are personable. It seems their answers are more scripted than sincere. THere are a few of Texas distributors that feel the same and it will be interesting to see how all this will turn out.

    • Anonymous

      I think that Bic will regret closing the San Antonio facility. I am a distributor in Texas and will not be using RCC for drinkware since they will be shipping from MN or FL. There are several other sources in TX that will have cheaper freight. Our company did $100k+ per year with RCC. I don’t think the bean counters at Bic took the massive amount of lost revenue into account when they made this decision. I am sad to see the SA facility close, as i have long-standing relationships with many of the employees there.

  6. SP

    My deepest sympathies go out to all of the San Antonio employees! I have been on that end of a Norwood consolidation when the Duratec facility was moved from Woodbury, MN to Iowa back in 2000. I know the hurt, anger and frustration you are all feeling and my heart goes out to you! That being said, I hope you can eventually understand that the Red Wing employees will also be angry and frustrated only in different ways. We’ve basically been told to kiss our personal lives good bye this year, so we are all going to have our lives disrupted also. We know there is a lot to learn, and it is very overwhelming to everyone from the office out to production. We would love to have any SA employees come to share knowledge with us since you have all the experience and know-how.

    I’ve been through all of the other consolidations to Red Wing in the past 9 years, and I honestly believe the site that actually takes on the consolidation has just as many headaches, just different ones than all the displaced workers. Since the decisions are made on a management level, the “worker bees” have nothing to do with the choices and are just forced to take on everything and do it. While I can understand it, I dislike the animosity towards us…when we had no say in the matter. All we can do is trudge forward, and try to see the silver-lining in the choices that were made for all of us. Everything happens for a reason, so make the best of it. I wish everyone the best!

  7. Queen Kickingass

    I am one of the Red Wing ‘back stabbers’.
    Seriously though….’SP’ (I know how you are, hee hee) has a valid point. Us grunts at the Red Wing site had no say in this unfortunate outcome. This is a Bic decision, not a Red Wing decision. We did not all huddle in our bat-cave and conspire the demise of San Antonio. This was out of Norwood Red Wing’s hands. The only thing that Red Wing is ‘guily’ of is prooving ourselves to be an efficiant, high functioning, highly productive site. Throughout the years, the Red Wing site has been the chosen location for many Norwood consolidations, ex. Cedar Rapids. We have adapted & thrived with every consolidation so far. It just so happens Red Wing had the geographical space to expand, hence to corporate Bic decision to add on to the building. In a statement made to Red Wing by Bic, it was stated that jobs will be available for San Antonio associates who are able & willing to move w/ relocation assistance. There will also be a severance packege & job seeking assistance for those choosing to stay in San Antonio. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach when the announcment was made. Our brothers & sisters are taking a big hit & thats not cool. This could have been us here in Red Wing. I hope that there are some San Antonio associates able & willing to make the move to our frigid arctic winter wonderland. We really are good people when we tuck our devil horns into our Viking helmuts…

    • anon

      please note that the cedar rapids facility was not a consolidation it was a natural disaster that caused almost 200 employees to lose their jobs Nov 2008. Red Wing has struggled with that transition since it took place.

  8. RCC

    Make the best of it… thats heart warming. Making the best is all we ever did in San Antonio. You people seem to forget or maybe just don’t know the history of RCC. Without the years of hard work and dedication that the San Antonio employees did there would never be a Norwood. Frank Krasovec had a dream and along with him everyone in San Antonio made that dream come true. For over 30 years we made the promotional industry what it is today. You also seem to forget that we bought Redwing and brought them into our family and this is how we have been repayed. You can say all you want that the employees didnt know but the ones that traveled to San Antonio religously in the past 5 months did. Let me mention a few names starting with Sharon, Kelly and Robin. It was always funny how everything had to be done Redwings way even when it made no sense. Come to think of it the changes we made to please Corporate were all ideas that came from Redwing. No wonder we looked liked idiots to Bic. When we stopped doing things our way is when it all went to hell. So you say you wont have a life anymore, poor you try not having a job to support your family. Trust me when i say it will take more than a year to run things the right way. Seems to me like you are looking at a couple of years of not having a life. So I say to you SP, you and everyone at Redwing and Bic are the ones that will need luck.

    • SP

      To you, RCC…
      I am not one of the people who’s name you mentioned…I work in a tiny little corner cubicle and do the job I’m told to do. I had no idea any of this was going to happen, nor would I have any say in the matter if I had.

      I understand I could be in your shoes, and I have been if you read the first few sentences of my original post. The job economy is horrible, and I feel completely horrible for the situation this puts all the RCC employees in. Please try not to be angry with us though – direct your animosity towards management. They are ultimately the ones who sign the checks and make the decisions. All I can do is embrace the changes, or find a new job for myself.

      As for the RCC history, I never knew any of it, and in my 9 years with Red Wing, I have only heard good things about your facility and employees. I honestly believe that Red Wing has been made to strive to reach the same level of efficiency and quality as your site. I have no insights as to why Bic chose you instead of us, (because it could have just as easily been Red Wing’s doors closing) and it would be silly for me to even attempt to speculate.

      Looking back at the history of Red Wing that I have experienced, I have been through several consolidations including Econoline, Tee-Off, Action-line, V-Line, Barlow and Souvenir and we have managed to adapt and learn how to do the job. I know management has worked hard to ensure the best possible experience for the customers and workers who make the transistion happen, so I can only be optimistic that we will find great RCC associates to help us learn what we need to. And yes, we do need a little luck as well.

      I’m sorry for all the hardships and heartaches that have and may yet come your way, and I wish you and all RCC associates the best.

  9. Queen Kickingass

    If Red Wing would have been on the chopping block, we would feel the same way. There is no sugar coating the devastation this has caused to our brothers & sisters in San Antonio.
    I am just like ‘SP’, I work in my corner cubical, taking orders like a well trained puppy for my bi-weekly milk bone.
    I think I can safely speak for all of the Red Wing grunts like myself & ‘SP’: Our thoughts & prayers are with all of you! I sincerely hope that from the ashes comes rebirth for the good people in San Antonio.

  10. Anonymous

    toughts and prayers dont pay the bills jobs do. you will be taken care of is all everyone tells us. to be honest no one knows what will happen and what will be given to us. Bic was never good enough to compete with us in the promotional business so buying us out was their only option. think about this if they never made it in this industry because we were too good, what makes them think they can stay in it without us. this is the company that you will have to count on to take care of you. i guess we should be thankful that we wont be there to see it all go down the drain. i do wish you the best because we worked our butts off to make it what it was for so long. hate has never been a part of my life and i let it get the best of me this week. it has been and always was management who made this decision but it was still your redwing management that came and lied to our faces. we all hear rumors and im sure they also made their way to your corner cubicles. so as you continue to take orders from sharon just remember its the san antonio people that you will have to really listen too to help you. your manager has no idea what she is doing but when you always have corporate on your side its easy to think that you do know, but reality will soon come face to face with her.

    • It's all Red Wing's Fault! (Queen Kickingass...Ha!)

      So, the decision has been made. The damage is done. The workers in Red Wing cannot jump into a Dolorian & go ‘back to the future’ to change this outcome for you. It is a waste of your energy to spew your hate and animosity towards the Red Wing. I think you need to redirect you energy to finding a new job. San Antonio will not shut down for another 9 months. You have 9 months to either transfer to Minnesota or find a new place to work in Texas. 9 months is a considerable amount of time to do what you need to to to find a way to pay your bills. I will save my prayers & thoughts. I wont even bother wishing you luck. Luck does not pay the bills, either…unless that luck morphs into lottery winnings 😉
      And, yes, I will continue to take orders from Sharon. Thoughts & prayers do not pay the bills, but taking orders from Sharon does.

      • Anonymous

        you and sharon are a bunch of idots… keep kissing her ass as she keeps dancing for Bic. just remember one thing and take it to heart. you now and always will need us to show you how to do it right. don’t forget you will never do it right unless we hold your hand and teach you like a 2 year old. you have never had a consolidation as big as this one. we actually produce real products we don’t mess with little toys. so make sure you thank us when you come down for training.

    • Queen Kickingass

      Throwing blame will not change the decision that has already been made.
      This was not a Red Wing move, it was a Bic move.
      These business practices have been implemented for years & years. This shut-down/consolidation is not the first of it’s kind in the history of business & it will not be the last.
      Like I has stated previously, it is a waste of your energy to spew your hate and animosity towards the people of Red Wing. Your energy needs to redirected towards to finding a new job. You have the option to transfer to Minnesota w/ relocation assistance or take a severance package. You have 9 months to make your move is this game of capitalistic chess. No one ever wins in the Blame Game, time for a new strategy.

    • Anonymous

      Thoughts and prayers yield more that you think. No matter your feelings towards Red Wing — no matter what you say — you will stay in my thoughts and prayers.
      I know that “there but for the grace of God” I could just as easily been you. I am sorry for your anguish.
      – Red Wing Worker.

      • I think your sentiments are shared by most everyone here.

        • Queen Kickingass

          Myself & every one of my cronies at the Red Wing location feel this quake, it rocks our foundation. The aftershock will no doubt be felt through years to come. Whether the sentiments are accepted or rejected, our thoughts and prayer will continue to go to our San Antonio counterparts.

  11. Frank

    Anonymous-
    Quit trying to put blame on the people around you for something you had control over. The consolidation to Red Wing is not the employees fault. It’s your fault for not running an efficient enough business. Take a look in the mirror instead of pointing fingers.

  12. People, you know you don’t have to reply, correct? Let’s cool it so all we have something to read besides bashing.

    • rcc does not kiss ass

      its not bashing Frank its reality…. you started this so be man enough to continue it. you and your council woman carol started something that is bringing out the truth. did redwing management know about this for a while answer is yes. did they lie to our faces when they came down to the big city answer yes. are they going to need us now more than they have ever needed anyone answer yes. we never blamed the real workers of Redwing they are just like us. who we blame is the managers that acted as snakes and slithered their way down south.

  13. Anonymous in MN.

    It is sad when these types of losses can disguise the issues and allow this blame game to play out. Last year wasn’t there talk of Norwood possibly leaving Minnesota? Today may be all about production, costs and incentives and the winners and losers are all of us in this economy. What is surprising is that Minnesota is not the state luring many new businesses in but must now be using retention as a tool? Remember when DHL pulled out of Ohio, it basically decimated the entire town as over 500 hundred employees lost their livelihoods. Northwest Airlines consolidated with Delta and life-long MN. NW employees had to relocate or accept the severance packages. Whirlpool announcing a move to Mexico leaving behind 1100 more jobless in Indiana. Many jobs are simply shipped overseas with no severance packages. Bic made this decision to end 99 jobs in Indianapolis and hundreds more in Texas. This may be of no solace, but I am happy to see these jobs remain in the United States! Norwood has employees in Canada and China and could have easily relocated all these jobs offshore or elsewhere for less wages. Minnesota was simply chosen as a winner this time. As someone (myself) who has been unemployed for fourteen months, I blame our government for having the ability to pick the winners and losers. We as workers, citizens and taxpayers need to demand more American made, strengthen our labor rights and hold accountable those companies so quick to leave us behind. Stop purchasing their products! It is every American citizen’s right; the pursuit of happiness and to be gainfully employed. Today’s working atmosphere has become all about pushing production and how much can be saved or taken away from those performing the labor. We must stop this infighting and look at the real issues. Myself, I am waiting for warmer weather to plant my tent and bag chair at the State Capitol to have my say or to be given three squares a day! Good luck to you all and may prosperous days be within your future.

  14. True Texan

    The only bright side to this very sad situation is RCC employees are lucky enough to live in the 8th largest city in America. We have 4 major military bases and medical facilities, more colleges then we can count, and Corporate companies keep coming into our city with 600 plus jobs all the time. San Antonio is chosen again again over other cities. Red Wing does not have this and never will, a small town where people are not known for their friendly personalities, and no major corporations to speak of. Who would want to move their company to the frozen tundra? Who would want that and who needs it.We rank high in beautiful country and friendly people. Let them have their moment of glory, for the moment will pass and be bitter. We all went through consolidations and lived through it. If it is going to take them that much extra time to learn our products, then that just goes to show the future problems and issues on the horizon. I say good luck to them cause they are going to need in it ten fold. Mid western customers especially Texans are not going to put up with their snotty attitude,yes this comes across on the phone. I have been a RCC employee and Norwood customer and never received good personal service. Even though we know that is just the Yankee way, does not come across very well. Red Wing Management should take stock of the old sayings “Be careful what you wish for you just might get it” and “What comes around goes around”
    There will be life after Norwood, and I expect it to be a much better and wonderful life. Things happen for a reason and usually turn out best after the gloom has gone.
    So my fellow RCC friends that I laughed and cried with, made lasting friendships with. Keep showing the exceptional people that you are. We all know that we are and will always be the best of the best!!!!

  15. Anonymous-Tx

    All I want to know is how expensive is rent,gas,electricity,ect;as i have to consider whether to stay here or relocate.I know we all are mad at what is happening but,what do we do??Please just send some info to help us consider if we can afford to make this big decision in our lives.

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