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Western New York, July 2007

Business Expansions

New this Month

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino opened its doors on Tuesday, July 3rd, less than one day after the National Indian Gaming Commission approved the opening. The temporary casino is a 5,000-square-foot, single-story facility, which houses 124 slot machines and employs 50 people. Construction of the permanent, 220,000-square-foot gaming venue is expected to start later this fall or early spring, and will take about two years to construct.

The booming medical corridor in Buffalo (Erie County) opened its latest medical diagnostic company to spin-off from the campus’s vast and varied research engines. Empire Genomics targets the rapidly growing multi-billion industries surrounding genetic diagnostic and analysis technologies. The company currently has a handful of staff and local college students working out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, but expects the staff to grow as high as 60 over the next five years.

The Ford Stamping Plant in Woodlawn (Erie County) held a celebration to mark the success of the Edge, a new crossover vehicle that combines features of SUV’s, minivans and sedans. The stamping plant is producing 80 percent of the car’s body. The Edge accounts for about 30 percent of the work at the 900-job stamping plant in terms of labor hours.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Auto parts maker Delphi Corp. took another step toward emerging from bankruptcy when a court approved a settlement with the United Auto Workers. The settlement with the UAW affects about 16,000 workers at 21 plants including 2,200 at Delphi’s Lockport (Niagara County) plant. Wages will drop to a range of $14 to $18.50-an hour from $27 per hour. The cuts are effective immediately. However the rejection of a wage-cutting agreement by workers at the Lockport plant has put the 2,200 jobs at the plant in jeopardy. President of Delphi Thermal Systems said the rejection by local workers-despite it being approved by 68% nationwide-casts doubts on the plant’s future. UAW members will soon have another agreement to vote on, with the national deal ratified and awaiting Bankruptcy Court approval, individual Delphi plants will negotiate their own “competitive operating agreements” with the union.

H.C. Brill Company announced it will close its Lancaster (Erie County) production facility by the end of 2008. The production facility employs 120 people in the manufacturing of baked goods. Work currently done at the plant will be transferred to other company facilities in New Jersey over the next 12 to 15 months.

Matex Fibre Recycling is winding down operations at a leased plant in Eden (Erie County) and shifting work to its home factory in Medina. About 30 people will lose their jobs.

The CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. has confirmed that the company’s plant in Buffalo (Erie County) will be idled when the contract between the company and the United Auto Workers expires in the beginning of 2008. Speculation that the plant would close has been ongoing for months. More than 600 employees work at the Delavan site, one of three area plants operated by American Axle.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Nothing to report.

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