Vise-Grips Plant Closes Doors Friday

Irwin Industrial Tools’ Vise-Grips plant in DeWitt, Neb., will officially close this Friday, as the company moves operations to China.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- The Vise-Grips plant in DeWitt will officially close this week, ending about 70 years of operations.

The last day assembly workers will show up at the plant in the town of 570 people is Friday, but actual production will cease either Wednesday or Thursday. About 330 people work at the plant.

Irwin Industrial Tools, which operates the plant, is moving operations to China.

A spokesman for the company has said the move is necessary to lower the cost of the locking pliers so they remain competitive with other brands.

William Petersen, a Danish immigrant and blacksmith, invented the tool nearly 90 years ago in DeWitt when trying to find a way to clamp down pieces of metal while he worked on them.

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