Closed Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha faces bankruptcy, lawsuit

CREATED Jan. 9, 2013

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WAUKESHA - The list of problems connected to the closure of the Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha continues to grow.

The company has filed for bankruptcy, while an employee has filed a complaint with the State of Wisconsin. 

The employee claims that the plant closed without a required notice of 60 days.

The closure led to 112 people losing their jobs, while schools had to scramble to find a new milk source.

"I'm going to have to start looking for a job I suppose, with that expericence and my age, I don't know how much is out there," said Daryl Etzler, an employee at Golden Guernsey.

Dairy farmers say they have found other locations to ship their milk.

Why did the plant shut down in the first place?

The private equity firm that abruptly shut down Golden Gurnsey blames "legacy relationships" for driving the plant out of business.

That firm, OpenGate Capitol, bought the dairy from Dean Foods after the justice department forced Dean to sell the the plant over antitrust concerns.

OpenGate says in a statement that despite negotiations with suppliers, vendors, and the labor union, it was unable to reduce expenses.

The company goes on to say, "Unfortunately, when expenses overwhelm revenue for too long, and we are unable to achieve cooperation from the people with whom we do business, the business cannot be sustained."