Flextronics cuts 1,500 jobs in Sweden
SINGAPORE - Flextronics International Ltd. is feeling the recessionary squeeze affecting many of its big-name telecommunications customers. The Singapore-based company announced it is slashing 1,500 jobs from its 5,600-strong work force in Sweden.
Flextronics blamed falling demand in Europe. The company took over mobile telephone production from Telefon AB LM Ericsson in April.
The cuts, scheduled to take place by the end of the year, include the complete shutdown of a 508-employee plant in Katrineholm, Sweden. The firm also will trim 500 jobs from its Karlskrona facility, 475 from its Visby plant and 40 from its Vasteras plant.
Although most of the firm's demand for plastic molded components is satisfied by outside processors, the plants involved do a minimal amount of in-house molding, according to Bengt Kvisth, Flextronics senior vice president.
Other injection molders in Europe also are feeling the effects of the slowdown, Kvisth said. Flextronics has design, engineering and production plants in 27 countries, a work force of about 70,000 and expected 2001 sales of $12 billion.
Chrysler taking concept to production
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - DaimlerChrysler Corp. is bringing one of its plastic-bodied concept cars into production but is not ready to say yet if carbon-fiber composites will remain the material of choice once it takes to the road.
The carmaker announced Aug. 19 it will bring the Chrysler Crossfire into reality. Consumers who have seen the vehicle ``demanded that we build it,'' said Wolfgang Bernhard, chief operating officer of Auburn Hills-based DaimlerChrysler Corp.
Any details on whether the composite body will survive the concept stage, though, must wait five months; the company will announce more information at the Los Angeles Auto Show in early January.
``We do have the plan in place, but we're not ready to tell the world yet,'' said Sjoerd Dijkstra, senior communications manager for design and technologies.
The sports-car concept debuted in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a one-piece carbon-fiber body on an aluminum frame. At that time, Dijkstra noted the carmaker opted to use the composite to show that the company has a continuing interest in developing plastic-bodied cars. DaimlerChrysler also featured a carbon-fiber-body Jeep Willys concept and a thermoplastic body on the Dodge Powerbox concept sport utility vehicle at the Detroit show.
The Crossfire already is helping DaimlerChrysler prove its capacity to move quickly, he said, noting that it will go from concept to production-model specifics in slightly less than a year.
Major firm nixes pursuit of Maine Poly
GREENE, MAINE - A major plastic film manufacturer has decided not to pursue bankrupt flexible packaging converter Maine Poly Inc.
Three other undisclosed firms continue to be interested in buying the Greene-based film operation, but a deal is not imminent, according to John Turner, the bankruptcy trustee.
Maine Poly filed under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on July 11, less than a week after it closed its plant and laid off 123 workers. It blamed its financial problems on high resin prices, tough markets and financial difficulties left over from its purchase in July 1998 by JPB Enterprises Inc. of Columbia, Md. Maine Poly focused on eight-color printing and converting film that it extruded at the operation into bags.
Doskocil employee, 33, dies on the job
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - Doskocil Manufacturing Co. is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a forklift accident killed a worker.
Norma Castillo, 33, died August 16 after being pinned between a forklift and a shelving unit while she was operating the forklift. She died at an Arlington hospital after undergoing surgery, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Doskocil officials would not comment, and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office did not return calls before deadline.
Arlington Fire Department Lt. Marvin Shafer said in an Aug. 23 interview that Castillo suffered traumatic asphyxiation. The accident happened the morning of Aug. 16.
``She basically backed underneath it,'' Shafer said of the shelving unit. ``She was just pinned there. By the time we arrived, she was in respiratory arrest. It's clearly an accident.''
Doskocil, which molds pet-care products such as doghouses and pet carriers, employs about 1,000.
In the Aug. 17 newspaper report, President Larry Rembold said: ``We're still trying to understand what happened. We have a very active training and safety program. We are taking the necessary steps to evaluate that piece of equipment to see if there's any reason why that would malfunction.''
He said the company, which has been in operation since 1961, never has had a fatality.