About 70 jobs at KeyBank’s Washington state call center are being relocated to the bank’s call center in Amherst (Erie County). The facility already houses 400 employees, including 308 associated with the call center. The local operation primarily handles consumer customer inquiries from throughout Key’s multi-state service area. The new jobs for Western New York area result of the bank’s plan to close its Tacoma call center and shift functions to similar operations in Buffalo and Cleveland in an effort to cut costs and achieve efficiency.
Boston Valley Terra Cotta, a maker of building materials in the Town of Orchard Park (Erie County), has applied to expand its plant. The company plans a 17,200-square-foot addition. The company expects employment to remain stable, with about 165 jobs.
Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo (Erie County) has received initial state approval to move forward with a $7 million expansion of its emergency and surgical operating rooms. ECMC plans to expand its emergency department by adding 12 examination rooms, two operating rooms and new support areas for emergency and surgical services.
Construction is expected to begin in March on the Kaleida cardiac and vascular center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The planned 10-story facility represents the first tangible results from the state-ordered consolidation of Kaleida health and the Erie County Medical Center. Kaleida’s center would occupy five floors and will bring together its heart, vascular and neurosurgery services in one location, as well as provide a new expanded ER, replacing the one at Buffalo General and allowing for the closure of Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Circle. The other five floors would house the University at Buffalo’s $118 million medical research center on the other five. Excluding the renovation of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, this is the first significant hospital construction in the city in more than two decades.
The Seneca Nation of Indians won the latest victory Tuesday (January 20) in the long-running battle over the legality of the downtown Buffalo Creek Casino (Erie County) casino. The National Indian Gaming Commission issued an amended gaming ordinance for Buffalo, which the tribe applied for three months ago. The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is endorsed and free to remain open and operating, and construction of its $333 million permanent version will also be free to continue when the Seneca Gaming Corp. determines the time is right. The Senecas have given no timetable for completion of their larger casino, which they say will eventually employ 1,200 people.
A new Budwey’s grocery in Newfane (Niagara County) will open this spring. The small grocery chain, which consists of two other stores in the Buffalo area, will employ about 80 employees.
A second round of buyouts involving about 300 employees at The Buffalo News (Erie County) is being offered this week. Employees have until February 27th to accept the offer; those who accept would be off the payroll by March 31st. The buyout initially was offered to about 110 workers last fall.
Quality Markets will close one of two Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) stores. The store, which employs 41, will close February 7.
DHL Express’ Cheektowaga (Erie County) will close this month as part of a massive cutback in DHL jobs and locations throughout the U.S. as outlined by its parent company last year. Teamsters Local 375 represents 34 workers employed by DHL and its subsidiaries at the Cheektowaga location. DHL also employs pickup and delivery drivers on a contract basis who are not represented by the Teamsters. The number of those workers at the Cheektowaga site is not yet available.
The area’s major manufacturing plants are putting about 600 workers on layoff to cope with production cutbacks, as new vehicle sales remain in a slump. The GM engine plant in Tonawanda (Erie County) will lay off about 340 of its 1,130 hourly workers starting January 26. The layoffs are for an indefinite amount of time, since they are tied to production needs. At Delphi Corp’s Town of Lockport (Niagara County) plant, 175 of its 1,540 hourly workers received layoff notices on January 16. Ford Motor Co.’s stamping plant in Hamburg (Erie County) has 75 of its roughly 800 workers on layoff and is preparing for a weeklong shutdown in early February.
Falling crude oil and natural gas prices have led to “significant” layoffs at Derrick Equipment Co., a Cheektowaga (Erie County) company that makes offshore oil rig equipment. The layoffs are for an indefinite period of time.
General Motor’s Town of Tonawanda (Erie County) plant is laying off an additional 65 hourly workers effective January 30, citing production cuts at an assembly plant in Ohio that uses some of its engines. With the latest layoffs announced, a total of about 405 of the 1,139 hourly workers at the plant will be on indefinite layoff, with no scheduled date to return to their jobs. The impact on the plant’s 227 salaries workers is still being determined. In addition, GM and the UAW agreed to eliminate the “jobs bank” for GM workers who have been on layoff for extended periods. Laid-off workers would enter the jobs bank when their unemployment benefits expired. The jobs bank used to provide laid-off workers with 100 percent of their pay and benefits. The 1,600 workers currently in the jobs bank will be placed on layoff and will need to file for unemployment.
Members of SEIU 119, United Healthcare Workers east, approved a new three-year contract with Kaleida Health System in Buffalo (Erie County). All seven bargaining units, which represents about 3,200 workers at Kaleida will receive base bay increases of between 13.1 and 16.4 percent, increases in other pay and improvement in retirement benefits.
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