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Waterbury Company Will be Forced Out of Connecticut With $15 Minimum Wage

As lawmakers debate raising Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, one company says it will be forced to relocate out of state.

FORUM Plastics, LLC of Waterbury, Connecticut employs 153 people, many of whom are paid minimum wage to manufacture plastics for medical device companies.

“We want to stay, we don’t want to be forced out,” said Dave Pelizzon, president of Squadron Capital, LLC, the holding company for Forum Plastics. “But if you do raise the wage to $15 per hour, we will have no choice but to leave. And it’s very sad.”

Pelizzon gave a video interview on the floor of FORUM Plastics to discuss how the $15 minimum wage would affect his company.

Pelizzon says the minimum wage increase will drive profit margins for the company from roughly 8 percent to little over 2 percent, making it nearly impossible to stay in business and remain competitive with other companies.

Pelizzon says he is constantly recruited by other states like Texas and North Carolina, which offer tax incentives for him to move the factory to one of their states. Pelizzon provided a recent recruitment email from Texas. “Texas is very aggressive,” Pelizzon said.

Recruitment email from Texas

“Many of our lawmakers don’t realize that FORUM Plastics competes globally. We’re competing against companies in China and in Mexico and those companies have competitive wages. It’s a challenge,” Pelizzon said.

President of FORUM Plastics, Mark Polinsky, says his workers are anxious over what the potential increase in the minimum wage will mean for the company.

“Most of us have been in Connecticut our entire lives and we’d like to work here for the remainder of our careers,” Polinsky said. “Is it too late for us to do anything about this?”

Waterbury has an unemployment rate much higher than the rest of the state and the country and if FORUM Plastics is forced to relocate to another state, those workers may have difficulty finding new jobs in a sluggish Connecticut economy.

President of Yankee Institute Carol Platt Liebau said “What all of us need to keep in mind is if we drive our job creators from our state, the real minimum wage becomes zero.”

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Marc E. Fitch

(2) Comments

  1. Jim Flood

    May 19, 2019 12:42 am

    My small.company of.7 people is struggling to stay alive. All of my employees are above $15 but it still creates wage pressure. What will force me to leave is increases in property taxes on my commercial property and FMLA
    After 66 years in this desparate state, I have had enough.

  2. Mary Ann

    May 18, 2019 8:12 am

    So sad to read your story. Our state of CT is on a downward spiral- yet people keep voting the Democrats into office. I’ m sure you’re not the only business that may be forced to leave due to the very high taxes and high expenses we all suffer living in this state. Best of luck to you and your employees .

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