Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jostens moving Topeka production work to Tenn.

May 15, 2012


Memorabilia maker Jostens says 372 jobs will be affected when it moves all production work from its Topeka plant to Clarksville, Tenn., beginning in July.

The Minneapolis-based maker of yearbooks, class rings and similar products informed its Topeka workers of the decision Monday.

The Topeka plant mainly produces Jostens’ line of memory books. Jostens says the 372 production jobs will be phased out.

The company plans to keep 87 employees in Topeka, mainly in customer service, art, marketing and technical support.

Jostens has been steadily cutting jobs and production in Topeka over the past several years.

Monday’s announcement came one year after Jostens announced it was cutting 83 full-time and seasonal jobs in Topeka as production of diploma covers moved to a plant in Shelbyville, Tenn.


Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 10 months ago

This is a terrible loss for Topeka. I extend my concerns to all those who will lose jobs, and I would strongly suggest that schools that employ Jostens go elsewhere for their future yearbooks, class rings, and similar products.

RogueThrill 5 years, 10 months ago

Boycott is the only option everyday citizens have when faced with "free markets".

JayCat_67 5 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm. Choosing not to do business with a company that does something you don't like... get enough people to do this, you could call it a boycott, but it would still come down to the choice of each individual. Sounds pretty capitalistic to me. Now, if they were calling for government craft some legislation to "punish" them for leaving or "force" them to stay... Then you might have a point.

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

His supposed love of capitalism is quite trumped by his vitriolic hatred of "liberals."

I use quotes there because his definition of liberals is the one that means "people who don't say or think the exact same as me"

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

That tax plan is really paying off Govenor.

oldvet 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep, they are going to Tennessee, a state with NO state income tax for individuals...

Clickker 5 years, 10 months ago

The company is made up of individuals

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

I live in Tennessee and believe me, having no state income tax is NO advantage. The schools here are so bad that, for all intents and purposes, only the people that can afford to send their kids to private schools can adequately educate their kids. Property taxes are so high they make up one third of our total monthly house payment. Sales taxes are so high that, if you live on the state line like we do, you go shop in GA. (There is a full on one dollar price difference in a gallon of milk between TN and GA.) The state may giveth but it also taketh away.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

+1 Good points; a 1/3 1/3 1/3 mix of property, income and sales taxes is the most stable. We are far from this balance, but it's always a noble goal. If there is no income tax services suffer and the differences are usually made up with sales and local property taxes. This is inherently unfair since property values vary so widely across the state.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

"a 1/3 1/3 1/3 mix of property, income and sales taxes is the most stable."

I'd say a 40%, 30%, 30% split, along with property tax relief for low income/elderly, and no sales tax on food, and retention of the earned income tax credit would be a much better mix.

Of course, that would entail an income tax increase on the wealthy, and that doesn't appear anywhere in the current Republican manual on class warfare.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Bozo: I wouldn't argue with your assertion. The President and the Gov need to realize there aren't enough of the rich to make up the difference (I know, I know, Brownback wants to cut taxes on the wealthy), and slightly raise taxes in all the middle class as well. That's where the real money is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

A combination of higher taxes on the wealthy, significant reductions in the war budget, and serious reform of the healthcare system would nearly eliminate the national debt in a decade or so, and with the money saved, we could invest in renewable, sustainable forms of energy production and distribution, and along with a revamping of our transportation systems, this would end our dependence of fossil fuels, especially those that are foreign-sourced.

But that makes too much sense (and more importantly, forces too many vested interests to move out of their comfort zone, even though it's killing the ability of humans and thousands of other species to survive on this planet.)

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

Bozo, not that I fully disagree with you, but your post is so unrealistic as to sound almost juvenile. You've previously suggested a cut in defense spending of 80%. That's got to translate into hundreds of thousands of jobs. Where will they go, across the street to the wind turbine factories?
The closest analogy I can think of in terms of a complete social upheaval is the attempts in Cambodia to de-populate the cities and send everyone back to communal farms.
You're making it sound like it's possible to just say it and it can be accomplished. A 3 year old might ask, "why do people hate each other"? It's a little more complicated than you make it sound.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Your ignorance is showing again. Military spending has the worst job creation ability of the many ways that jobs can be created.

But I guess as long as you got to throw out a few petulant and petty insults along the way, all is good, eh?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

That military spending are government created jobs, the kind you're so fond of. So will those wind turbine jobs also be in government operated factories. I've heard such good things about government owned factories in the Soviet Union.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

And by your argument, enforcing laws against organized crime is bad because it puts gangsters out of work.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

Not at all, Bozo and you're misinterpreting my feelings on this matter. I too, would like to see a reduction in spending in defense and I would like to see a commitment to clean, renewable energy. However, when you say an 80% reduction you may as well be saying a 100% reduction. It's so unreasonable that people will tune you out, much like they tune out a three year old. And that's not to say the three year old is wrong, they are quite correct. But coming from a three year old is cute, coming from an adult is, well, childlike.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

So, rather than explaining why you find it unreasonable, you just go for the personal insult.

What a mature guy you are (heavy sarcasm.)

TopJayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

So you live in Chatanooga? What about all that needless carbon you are dumping into the air for that cheap milk there Cait? Are you a product of the great Tenn. educational system? Do you still love Big Al?

But you are right. The money has to come from somewhere. The best thing to do is create more jobs. This obviously creates a bigger tax base, and you need to make yourself attractive to big business to do that.

cowboy 5 years, 10 months ago

A sad day for Topeka and for the awesome employees of Jostens. Topeka was the mother ship for decades. this is what you get when a company is owned by a capital investment group.

Mixolydian 5 years, 10 months ago

The Topeka Jostens plant was the only plant of Jostens that was unionized, If people want to get silly and try to politicize a business decision, it seems like the closing would be better laid at Obama's feet than Brownback. Obama is wanting to push for stronger union laws, card check etc. Why wouldn't Jostens close down Topeka in that environment?

Of course politics wasn't involved here, it was just a business decision,

chootspa 5 years, 10 months ago

Is it? Obama unionized them, did he? Kansas is a right to work state, and as far as I know there haven't been any labor disputes at that plant, have there? Besides, there are legal consequences to trying to move your factory just to avoid a union. (Something that wouldn't happen at all if unions were stronger in all states. Just pointing that out.)

FWIW, I don't think they made a political decision at all, but they certainly didn't decide to stay because of promised lower tax rates here.

shotgun 5 years, 10 months ago

I worked there. The union at Jostens was a joke. There were no advantages to being a member, and you did not have to be a member. Having been a member of the same union in St Louis for 25 years, I know that to be a fact. Jostens had the same low wages as any skilled blue collar facility in the State of Kansas. My guess is that Tennessee has even lower wages. To suggest that this was political is ludicrous.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 10 months ago

"Jostens has been steadily cutting jobs and production in Topeka over the past several years".

As in pre-Brownback? As in pre-Sebelius? As in maybe for a very long time and whomever is the governor had absolutely nothing in the world to do with this decision?

KansasPerson 5 years, 10 months ago

The Topeka plant had nothing to do with the class rings as far as I know.

somedude20 5 years, 10 months ago

Guess that prayer summit didn't work out too well for you and Perry because your state is sinking (thanks to your grand plans) and Perry lost so badly that even "losers" are feeling better about themselves. I guess that either, a) there ain't no god or b) god frickin hates you!

The best thing you can do, Mr Brownback is go away. Leave this state alone if you must muck something up, try West Virginia

newmedia 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for bringing the Mars plant to Topeka!! At least the Josten's jobs are not going overseas as far as we know...

newmedia 5 years, 10 months ago

I knew it wouldn't take long... Sometimes you just have to poke the bear with a stick! Rock On....

guppypunkhead 5 years, 10 months ago

Yikes! This is a big blow to Topeka. :( Josten's was one of the largest and best employers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Brownback doesn't deserve any blame for the jobs lost in this plant closing. But he won't deserve any credit for any future job creation, either. He's not the least bit concerned with job creation-- his only concern is making the "job creators" ever more wealthy, at the expense of the vast majority.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Can you show us where Obama has a policy requiring jobs to be moved from Kansas to Tennessee?

Patricia Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

Yup, it's like the written version of a robocall.

chucko916 5 years, 10 months ago

Lets see the highest paid plant due to being Union, yes no Union issues, since they were getting paid and getting paid well, why would the workers have issues.....simple out the jobs, with less taxes and lower wages for the SAME work....I am sure Tennessee can make Josten's products close to the same as Topeka can......for any and all of you making this political, thats crazy....boycott Jostens?!? if that makes you feel better....SIMPLE...Unions are not needed in most of today's world and have cost many companies their business's and many more employees their jobs (hope they saved all that extra money the UNION got for them)

shotgun 5 years, 10 months ago

Jostens did not pay higher wages. If it makes you feel good to blame the union OK, however you are misinformed. I worked there, and I can tell you that Jostens did not pay higher wages than a non union plant like Allen Press.

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

Without reading comments, over/under on Brownback being blamed in 2 +/-1 comments

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

Can you tell me one thing that Brownback is good at without resorting to sarcasm?

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

Were you somehow under the impression that I'm a fan of Brownback? I despise Brownback.

But blaming him first and foremost (or Bush, or Obama) any time anything ever happens ever seems to me much the same as midieval peasants blaming the King for a bad set of crops or too much rain.

Bud Stagg 5 years, 10 months ago

Jostens is in a market that is made up of "extras". Rings, yearbooks, etc are not neccesary items in life. The Yearbook portrait market has been in the dumps for years, yearbooks would logically follow. It was a simple business decision to save money, why do they have to save money? Because the economy sucks and they are not bringing in high enough revenue.

On Obama and Sam, a true leader could get both sides to work together. Both sides of the aisle have good ideas. We haven't had a true leader in quite awhile. I hoped Obama could truly work out the differences. I have not even seen a good effort since he took office. He rammed obamacare down our throats when he had the majority without even consulting the republican party and they have been pissed at him ever since. That is not leadership, that is party line thinking.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

A lot of it has to do with new technology in printing. A lot of it has to do with the CEO and corporate HQ being in Tenn.
A good friend of mine's wife is a journyman printer here in Topeka with Jostens.She makes $60,000.00 +/yr.
It is a shame.

I really think the way to attract and keep business is to do away with the business tax here. That would make the wind industry really notice Ks and it's wind. Along of course with our own loveable Windy Bozo. (kidding, peace dude) Yes I am conservative, but don't care for Brownie either. And no, I am not for tax relief for the rich. But would like to see property tax relief. This would lower house payments and keep rent down. That would help everyone.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | by Jim Hightower

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I think Obama and Brownback secretly got together on this one and forced Jostens out of Topeka.

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