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Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a Relief!
While hunting and pecking around Google News today, I found that,

On May 21, 2007, Kimball Electronics Group announced 214 workers will lose their jobs during the future closure of their Gaylord, Michigan plant. On July 31, 2007, The Department of Labor certified that the employees are eligible for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which covers workers who lose their jobs due to increased imports or shifting of production to offshore locations.

On August 17, 2007, Maine's Governor John Balducci received word from the U.S. Department of Labor that about 150 workers who lost their jobs after the closure of the Domtar paper mill in Baileyville will be eligible for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.

On August 23, 2007, "Union and labor representatives at Fraser Papers Inc. told a U.S. senator, a workforce representative and local town managers Friday afternoon that the company needs assistance to retrain its remaining labor force and laid-off workers." At the Madawaska, Maine paper mill, "Thirty-six workers at the mill are finishing their final shifts this weekend, another 45 employees have accepted early retirement buyouts, and the possibility remains that as many as 24 more could be accepting packages in the coming months. Another 45 employees face losing their jobs in the next few months. At the end of the latest cost-cutting measures announced by the company, the Madawaska papermaking mill will employ 680 people. Just 10 years ago the company had 1,245 workers at the Madawaska plant."

On August 31, 2007 the Department of Labor certified that 100 plant workers at Wellstone Investors LLC in Eulala, Alabama "might have become unemployed as a result of increased imports."

On September 2, 2007, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that over 1,000 jobs have been lost in Mt. Airy, North Carolina as five plants closed down over the summer. Although many workers will be eligible for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, I wish them good luck in finding new jobs. "The next wave of layoffs [in North Carolina] is well under way, this one among white-collar urban workers, with call-center workers, X-ray technicians and software programmers losing jobs to workers in such distant places as India and the Philippines." Finally, "Several major area employers in the region have decided that they can save money by contracting with companies overseas for information-technology services. A short list includes Aon Corp., BB&T Corp., Dell Inc., GMAC Insurance and Wachovia Corp."

On September 10, 2007, a meeting was scheduled to discuss the plans to close the Intec Groups Newton County, Indiana auto parts plant by the end of the year. Intec plans to "....lay off 99 workers by Oct. 1 and eliminate 170 total positions by December. "

On September 13, 2007, the Department of Labor approved Micron Technology's "...request for federal aid to help the more than 1,000 workers the company has laid off in the Boise area since June."

On September 14, 2007, the Republican-American News out of Waterbury, Connecticut reported that "A total of 33 employees laid off recently by Risdon International Inc. can apply for extra help while looking for work under a federal program that aids workers who lose their jobs because of foreign competition, state labor officials said."

On September 19, 2007, "....Carhartt Inc. officials told workers that 33 employees will be laid off, effective Dec. 31." The layoffs are necessary as the company converts the Galesburg, Illinois sewing plant to a distribution plant. "....although Carhartt manufactures more workwear in the U.S. than any company; 96 percent of the product produced domestically by the entire industry is made outside the U.S., making adjustments necessary."

On September 20, 2007, the Kansas City Star reported that (former Michigan governor) John Engler, the current president of the National Association of Manufacturers, seems to think that the American manufacturing industry is in pretty good shape right now. "...we think some of the fundamentals in the U.S. economy are still pretty strong as far as manufacturing is concerned." Engler said. He continued “Exports are up, and productivity is increasing for U.S. manufacturers. We just want to see steady progress being made.”

Whew!! Thank heavens for the reassuring words of John Engler! I was starting to get worried for a moment.

(Cross-posted at Carrie's Nation.)

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