black autonomy network community organization
working for economic and social justice in Benton Harbor, MI
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
"The public needs to understand how Harbor Shores/Whirlpool treats its neighbors"
April 2, 2014
New Products Corporation Updates Website, WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com, to Detail Ongoing Encroachments by Whirlpool
Company Seeks to Rally Public's Support
BENTON HARBOR, MI, Apr 02, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- New Products Corporation (NPC), Benton Harbor's longest surviving manufacturer, has re-launched the website, www.WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com , to provide more information about how Whirlpool-backed Harbor Shores has attempted to squeeze NPC's operations and threaten its future.
The website was first launched in 2011, after NPC filed a lawsuit against Whirlpool and Harbor Shores for taking the company's property, without compensation for what became the 18th fairway of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
"The public needs to understand how Harbor Shores/Whirlpool treats its neighbors," said Cheryl Miller, NPC's president and CEO. "Taking our property isn't the only strategy they've used to bully our family-owned business. That's why we've used the website to publish our legal complaint and many attempts to squeeze our company's operations. We support 100 local families. We are strategic to thousands of jobs in the U.S. and worldwide. We need the public's support."
The website's home page was redesigned to feature a cartoon of Whirlpool and Harbor Shores disregard for NPC's manufacturing facility adjacent to the Harbor Shores Golf Course and residential development, which will be the site of the 2014 Senior PGA Tournament in May.
The new website also includes photos, maps, and descriptions of Whirlpool's planned development for Harbor Shores' golf course community, dating back to 2005. These include numerous plans to develop a Town Center on New Products' headquarters property and a beach front hotel on Jean Klock Park property that was removed from the park boundaries in 2004. The website details more recent issues NPC has battled including facility access during the 2014 Senior PGA, a media blockade, proposed special assessments, denial of protection through Protective Covenants for a special use for overnight accommodations, and significant water rate increases that dramatically impact area business growth and NPC directly.
"Whirlpool/Harbor Shores act as though the end justifies the means, but stealing our property is never justifiable," added Miller. "Whirlpool is clearly pursuing plans to eliminate NPC from their Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and luxury development."
NPC's lawsuit filed in September 2011 in the Circuit Court for the County of Berrien, is still pending. In 2013, Harbor Shores petitioned the Berrien County Circuit Court for a bench trial to deny NPC's Constitutional right to a jury trial. Attorneys for New Products Corporation (NPC) filed an appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals after Berrien County Circuit Court granted Harbor Shores' motion to limit a jury trial. NPC is awaiting a court date.
Founded in Benton Harbor, Mich. in 1922, NPC is a global supplier of custom, precision die cast aluminum and zinc parts for thousands of applications in a variety of industries, including automotive, military, industrial machinery, medical instruments, household appliances, transportation equipment, furniture and fixtures, and more. Today, NPC is a TS 16949 certified, woman-owned small business, recognized for its "world class" quality. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents. For more information about New Products Corporation, visit www.newproductscorp.com.