The President of Trek Bicycle is accusing Governor Scott Walker of make false implications against the company for political gain.
Walker’s campaign released an ad this week that targets likely Democratic opponent Mary Burke. Burke is a former executive at Trek, a company started by her father. The ad implies that Trek outsourced jobs overseas that could have been done in Wisconsin and that Burke profited from the move. It also argues that those jobs are being done by individuals being paid as little as $2 an hour.
In a statement released Thursday, Trek Bicycle President John Burke says he wants to set the record straight about the issue. Burke says his sister “did not make any manufacturing decisions; I did.”
Had he not made the decision to source the company’s product globally, Burke argues Trek would likely no longer be in business and the 1,000 jobs the company still has in Wisconsin would not be here today. He also fired back at the wage allegations, saying the company and its vendors “strictly comply with all local labor rules and regulations, including prevailing pay rates.”
Walker’s campaign stood by the ad. Spokeswoman Alleigh Marre said “There is no disputing the fact that Mary Burke made millions of dollars off of shipping Wisconsin jobs overseas.”
Mary Burke’s campaign is also working to counter the attack with its own campaign ad, which will begin airing today in several markets across the state. It claims the Walker ad is an “outrageous attack on a great Wisconsin company,” and argues that Burke helped Trek grow into a company that make more bikes in the U.S. than any other company. The ad also criticizes Walker’s administration for providing tax breaks to companies that have outsourced jobs overseas, and argues it’s one of the reasons Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest for job creations.