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Western New York, November 2010

Business Expansions

New this Month

Papa John’s Pizza opened its first of five planned Western New York locations in Amherst (Erie County) November 5th.

The Niagara County Legislature in Lockport has given the green light to the Niagara County Community College culinary institute in the vacant Rainbow Centre Mall in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). A student-run restaurant and culinary center is expected to open in the fall of 2012.

The proposed Verizon data center has received site plan approval from the Somerset (Niagara County) planning board, moving the project one step closer to becoming a reality. A 20-year property tax break by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency completed the local approvals needed for the project, which Verizon says will create 200 jobs paying an average of $85,000 a year. About 500 construction workers would be needed to put up the buildings.

The state has reversed a decision to downsize Westfield Memorial Hospital (Chautauqua County). A law passed in 2007 to implement the cost-cutting recommendations of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century had mandated the hospital downsize from a hospital with a full-time emergency room to a health center with urgent care for minor injuries and illnesses.

Paddock Chevrolet plans to acquire the former Jim Doyle Ford site in Kenmore (Erie County) to expand its used-car operations. The former Ford site is expected to close next month. Seven to 15 new employees will be hired.

Bank of America is growing its workforce in Western New York for the second time this year. The bank has 60 openings for customer service and sales specialists in its Getzville (Erie County) office.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Greatbatch Inc. is cutting as many as 80 jobs as part of a restructuring of its medical products business. The company is consolidating its medical products businesses into a single entity under the Greatbatch Medical name.

Wilson Farms is cutting jobs blaming fallout from a sharp increase in cigarette taxes imposed over the summer. The convenience store chain, with corporate offices in Amherst, (Erie County) is eliminating 20 administrative jobs, reducing store labor hours by 10 percent, and curbing capital spending it had planned for 2011.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Teamsters at YRC Worldwide’s trucking companies have approved extending contract concessions for an additional two years. The original deal had been scheduled to expire in 2013. The concessions are aimed at helping the trucking giant survive its financial struggles. More than 350 employees work in the Buffalo (Erie County) area terminals.

A federal mediator will join talks at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville (Erie County). About 175 employees are covered by the negotiations which are set to resume on November 17th. The negotiations between the hospital and union 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East have been ongoing since July.

Drivers at BOC Linde’s industrial gas operation in South Buffalo (Erie County) have a approved a five-year contract. The 29 workers are represented by Teamsters Local 375.

An arbitration panel has granted Erie County’s road deputies 2 percent raises for two of the years they have gone without a contract but forced them to go back and pay for the county-provided health insurance they had received for free. The award will cost an estimated two dozen eligible deputies to retire before the end of the year. By doing so, they can collect raises without being charged for the health insurance they received in past years. The deputies have gone without a contract since 2003.

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