Mayor Barrett visits Talgo to fight for Milwaukee jobs
Nick Montes reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee's Mayor Tom Barrett isn't giving up his fight to keep jobs in the city as he visited Talgo workers on Wednesday.
His opponents say keeping those jobs in Wisconsin will cost too much taxpayer money. The company lost state funding for a maintenance facility and is preparing for massive layoffs.
Talgo started the process by notifying its employees that they will in fact be laid off. But, the fight to keep them here isn't over."
Elias Jimenez will be one of at least 30 employees let go at Talgo in June -- and he got a layoff notice this week. "My losing this job will be quite traumatic," said Jimenez to TODAY'S TMJ4. "I have a family of four at home. And I'll tell you what it's going to be a struggle. Things are going to change."
Change -- because the state declined $810 million in federal funds that would have helped Talgo build more trains. Barrett claims 30 more maintenance jobs are also at risk -- because lawmakers decided against building a maintenance facility.
A few weeks ago -- Republicans voted against it, because they say the money just isn't there and that they could use an existing Amtrack facility for substantially less.
Scott Walker's campaign released this statement: "Mayor Tom Barrett sat silent on the sidelines, completely removed from the discussion on creating solutions until after the decisions on Talgo have been made."
Still Congresswoman Gwen Moore urges the state to reconsider its decision. "Revisit the issue and just deal with the facts and not the ideology," argued Moore.
Jimenez just hopes his job can be saved, "My hope is that we are still able to fulfill this obligation of having a maintenance facility," asserted Jimenez.
Mayor Barrett says by the state not honoring it's contractual agreement, there could be legal ramifications.