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Western New York, March 2002

Business Expansions

New this Month

UPDATE: Casinos State officials have been meeting with an Oklahoma tribe about opening two casinos in Western New York. It is unclear precisely where the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Oklahoma wants to locate a casino, but sources say the tribe, as well as state officials, are particularly interested in quickly developing a site in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) The federal government has never approved an agreement for operating an off reservation casino for an out-of-state tribe.

Stein Mart, an off-price department store, will open its second location March 27th in Orchard Park (Erie County). Stein Mart opened its first store in the Buffalo Niagara area in March 1998 in Amherst (Erie County). The Orchard Park store will employ 60 people.

Truck-Lite Co. of Falconer (Chautauqua County) will add 100 jobs following its purchase of a Federal Mogul Corp. subsidiary. Truck-Lite, which is a division of Penske Transportation Components, bought Signal-Stat Lighting Products. Those operations will be shifted to its Jamestown Empire Zone location from Texas, Indiana, and Mexico. Currently, the company employs about 350 people in Falconer, and about 1,100 worldwide.

Business Contractions

New this Month

M. Wile & Company will cut about 50 jobs in Buffalo (Erie County) as it consolidates tasks with its parent company Hartmarx Corp. in Chicago. The cuts will affect workers in the accounting and information technology departments. Layoffs are scheduled to begin this summer and be completed within 18 months.

City Service Taxi (Erie County) closed and laid off 45 employees due to insurance rates per car more than doubling. City Service Taxi was a company-owned fleet of taxis with about 25 cabs. Bill Yuhnke, president of Liberty Cab, said 16 of his 84 owner-operators were off the road March 1. He estimates about 100 cabs in the Buffalo Niagara market probably shut down.

Verizon (Erie County) plans to cut employment this year by 10,000 jobs, but in Western New York, the telecommunications company is still trying to meet last year’s job-cut targets. The International Brotherhood of Electrical workers represent Verizon customer service workers in upstate New York, including 500 in Buffalo. A Verizon spokesman stated the job cuts announced March 4 should be achieved by attrition, reduced contractor work and less overtime. The 10,000 job target represents about 4 percent of the company’s workforce around the country.

Ailing BiznessOnline.com has pulled out of Western New York, closing an office and Web hosting center in Amherst (Erie County) that once employed 60 people.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

UPDATE: New Era Cap Co. has offered to boost production at its plant in Derby (Erie County) in a bid to end a seven-month strike by the Communications Workers of America Local 14177. The cap maker said it will invest in new equipment to increase production by 25 percent, to 60,000 caps a week, if the strike is called off. About 215 workers remain on strike, while 80 others have left the union and returned to work.

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