Monday, July 18, 2011

The Mayor in Nashville speaks on IQT, Oshawa Mayor says he'll give Dean a call

Karl Dean is in a difficult place. News reports out of Canada say that IQT is both in bankruptcy and heading to its new home in Nashville with the payroll, severance and vacation cash it owes hundreds of Canadians it laid off. Mayor Dean has repeated economic development so much since 2007 that it is now hackneyed, but he's got to find a way to explain during his re-election campaign what to do with plans to subsidize a IQT in order to provide 900 jobs when the company just shed 1,200 jobs in Canada, where they reportedly received government subsidies too.

So, late this afternoon Hizzoner dispatched the usual talking points adjusted for the awkward situation at hand:

We were surprised and concerned to hear about the developments in Canada, and I was dismayed by the way the company treated its employees there. Rest assured, Metro taxpayers are protected. Metro’s agreements with IQT have not been finalized, and no incentive funds have been paid to the company. Consistent with my philosophy on economic development, the incentives offered to IQT are based on the company’s ability to bring jobs to Nashville. If they don’t create jobs here, they don’t get incentives. We are not moving forward on this deal unless we get answers from IQT that satisfy my concerns.

Meanwhile, back in the Great White North, the Mayor of the town IQT abandoned, angry that his constituents may not be able to pay their bills or feed their kids in the near future, intends to phone Nashville:

IQT paid its Oshawa employees $11 an hour but received incentives from the Tennessee government to move.

“How much lower can you go in terms of wages?” Ryan wondered.

Oshawa Mayor John Henry says he is going to phone the mayor of Nashville and the city’s chamber of commerce to tell them what kind of company IQT is.

“This is tragic for the community,” Henry said. “It is the direct jobs at IQT but also all the suppliers. All those people who had a working relationship with this company. Now (IQT workers) are going through the turmoil of trying to recover their money.”

It is probably difficult for even the best PR firm to market hundreds of new jobs a Mayor is going to create when news gets out that they torpedoed even more jobs and pinched wages-already-earned in someone else's community.


  1. Let's say IQT still wants to move to Nashville, and is able to, after filing for some form of protective bankruptcy.

    It would prove a mighty big feather in Dean's cap when he campaigns for Governor or Senator. (Filed under the "I brought jobs to Nashville" category).

    Rest assured, McNeely, Piggot & Fox and The Tennessean will be more than happy to spin such a relocation in a positive light, in exchange for a big, fat check.

    I just wonder how they'll spin it up in Canada.

    The Preds could be in for some trouble next season.

  2. IQT screwed all 1200 of us employee's this past fridy in Canada! And we CANNOT allow them to get away with this. We need you Nashville TO STAND UP and help us get the MORTMAN'S to comment to our goverment and issue statments and TAKE OUR CALL!!!!!!!!!


  3. Should an IQT relocation to Nashville begin to move forward, it provides a perfect opportunity for CM Megan Barry to prove her mettle.

    This is her area of expertise.

    And as much as I have bashed her on this site, I'm confident this would be an instance where she steps up to the plate.

  4. What they are forgetting to tell you, is that employees up here in Canada got unionized a couple weeks ago.

    In canada, when a union is set in a business, there is absolutely no hope of thriving or succeeding in any way, and it results in constant nagging, harrassment and loss of productivity for decades to come; canadian unions, especially in Québec, are the vilest in North America and therefore the only solution left for a global business is to close shop when employees start that kind of unfair fight, particularly true in this kind of business where you have to compete with India, for exemple.

    Sorry to say, but the employees got what they deserved, they were earning 13$ an hour and got greedy in an environment and industry that can not afford the constant fights. When will they learn...

    However, you should be ashamed as Americans to find yourselves in the business of subsidizing companies to attract them in your cities, what a blow to free market and disrespect to your tax payers.

  5. There is nothing wrong with wooing a company, and its jobs, from a neighboring state or country; or, for that matter, wooing them from a far-away place. That is the job of the Mayor.

    However, there's enough here to not trust IQT. I'd suggest paying out all incentives after the company has been established in Nashville, with 900 full-time positions, for 2 years.

    Have any auto-related jobs relocated to TN from other areas of the country? I know Nissan's headquarters did. Did you have the same feelings towards our Californian brethen as you do those unrelated to us in the Arctic North?

  6. No, not ashamed at a Mayor trying to bring jobs to a community. In fact, proud of it.

    However, I may be ashamed at the fact, that no one checked out this company that appears to have been about 2 weeks away from bankruptcy and swindling its employees.