SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) - Golden Guernsey – which closed its Waukesha milk plant last weekend with just one day’s notice – filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. The dairy’s owner, Open Gate Capital of Los Angeles, filed a Chapter-Seven bankruptcy case in Delaware. In a statement, C-E-O Andrew Nikou noted that Golden Guernsey’s sales rose by 20-percent since Open Gate acquired the Waukesha plant from Dean Foods last year. But he said the company was under pressure to lower its prices – and the firm tried but failed to lower its expenses because it could not get suppliers, vendors, and a labor union to lower their costs. It was the company’s first public comment about the Waukesha plant closing, which abruptly left over 100 people out of work and forced a milk supplier for 350 public schools to scramble on a Sunday to find another product. Yesterday, former employee Robert Storm Junior filed a complaint with state Workforce Development agency. He said he thought quote, “the wheels were in motion” to close the plant a month ago – but nothing official was said about it. Wisconsin’s Plant Closing Law requires that the state get a 60-day notice except in emergencies. State officials were never told a thing until now. Golden Guernsey has been one of the state’s best-known dairies for decades. It started in Milwaukee in 1930.
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