TB Investigates

Charlie Baker Praises Symmons Industries For “Reopening” And “Converting” To PPE, Despite Laying Off Over 100 Workers And Never Closing Or Converting


Symmons Industries makes bathroom products and is headquartered in Braintree. Governor Charlie Baker went there today to showcase the reopening of this manufacturing company, in order for people to see what phase 1 looks like in action, and how companies were using social distancing and testing to help stop the spread. He lectured the public about the importance of wearing masks, despite the fact that Baker, Karyn Polito, and CEO Tim O’Keefe were not wearing masks.


But it’s OK because they were “socially distancing,” right?

Except for when they walked by each other and rubbed shoulders. Or when they used the same microphone and touched the same podium. I hope this is all making sense now peasants.

He picked Symmons because they converted after the pandemic started to making PPE.

Except he forgot to point out that the bathroom supply company laid off over 100 employees on March 24, which they blamed on COVID. But COVID didn’t make the decision to shutdown the economy, Charlie Baker did. The jobs lost ranged from factory workers, to salespeople, to management. These workers did not get a warning and received no severance. These are people with mortgages, families, and bills, and although they’re eligible from unemployment they make far less money now and would rather be working.

CEO Tim O’Keefe never “converted” any of these people to making or selling bathroom supplies either. All they did was start selling one product called the SAFEkey.

They also didn’t start selling this product until May 5, so what did they spend the month and half prior to that “converting” to?

Notice how they brag about donating 10% to charity.

That’s also deceiving considering they charge much more than it costs to produce one of those, so who cares if they’re donating 10% to “Feeding America,” when their former employees are now struggling to feed their families.

The product itself is a joke. It’s basically an oversized bottle opener that you use to pull doors open, touch screens and pinpads, and then put back into your filthy pocket to use again later. Former employees tell us that they’re not selling well at all, and were nothing more than a cheap marketing ploy to make a profiting company seem like they were “doing their part” to stop the spread. It went over poorly on their Facebook page.

Symmons was also designated as “essential” by Baker so they never stopped manufacturing in the first place, and thus they’re not really reopening. God knows the world cannot survive without (checks notes) elegance and sophistication at hotels.

They weren’t able to keep people on due to the economic slowdown, but they were able to expand businesses opportunities into Canada.

Yet despite the fact that they clearly never shut down or converted to PPE production, Charlie Baker was praising them for the way they were “reopening.”

How can you reopen when you never closed in the first place?

But it’s cool because they play 80’s music now when they test their employees.

Everyone’s a doctor now.

Nearly every media outlet put out this blatantly false headline that Symmons changed what they were doing to adapt to the crisis.

“Pivoted from plumbing products.”

They were always making the same plumbing products, they were just selling less of them because of Charlie Baker’s lockdown.  “Pivot” makes it sounds like they stopped making faucets and started making masks.

Lt. Governor Karyn with a Y Polito praised them for making it a “safer place to give workers confidence to do their jobs.”

Yea, as long as you have a job. All the people they laid off can drown themselves in their elegant and sophisticated sink.

Why is Charlie Parker giving this particular company such free advertising, considering that all they’ve done during the pandemic is lay people off and continue to profit? Well, Tim O’Keefe is a friend and a donor, and Charlie’s been doing photo ops at his company ever since he was elected.

And God knows Tim O’Keefe isn’t struggling while riding around in his boat at his waterfront home in Hingham.

I realize that companies have to lay people off a result of this forced Charle Baker shutdown. But don’t praise your rich donor buddy for being innovative and “reopening” when all he did was profit off of a gimmicky product that does nothing to stop the spread of the virus.

Charlie Baker’s lockdown affected middle class workers more than anyone. If you didn’t make much money prior to this then you’re making more now on unemployment. If you’re a wealthy CEO like Tim O’Keefe then you’re saving money by laying people off without severance packages. If you’re Charlie Baker you’re still collecting a salary while forcing millions of people to lose their jobs and businesses. Barber shops, clothing stores, gyms, restaurants, bars, and countless other businesses have lost everything because they weren’t “essential,” but Charlie’s friend who makes “sophisticated” bathroom faucets is essential because he also makes a do-hickey that you can use at the ATM.

At least I know the media won’t steal this story. They don’t like to print news that makes Charlie Baker look bad.


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