Husky hot-runner plant ends union drive
MILTON, VT. - In Vermont, the union drive is over at Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.'s hot-runner factory - only two weeks after the International Association of Machinists filed papers seeking to represent some employees there.
On Jan. 18, IAM filed a petition, signed by at least 30 percent of people in the proposed bargaining unit, with the National Labor Relations Board's Region 1 office in Boston. The union withdrew its petition Feb. 1 and dropped the effort.
The bargaining unit would have covered 145 production and maintenance workers at Husky's hot-runner factory in Milton. About 350 total employees work at the Milton plant, which Bolton, Ontario-based Husky opened in 1998.
``The workers spoke, and they weren't ready at this point,'' said IAM organizer Paul Urbanczyk. ``We needed a majority [to form a union], and we respected the workers' opinion.''
Initially, Urbanczyk had said workers were unhappy over ``a lot of takebacks'' and Husky had reduced some benefits.
Husky officials maintained the Vermont employees did not need IAM representation, calling a union ``an outside party.''
``We look forward to working directly with our team members in Milton,'' said Dirk Schlimm, vice president of corporate affairs.
Huntsman decides it's no longer for sale
SALT LAKE CITY - Resins and chemicals producer Huntsman Corp. has withdrawn from the auction block.
Although the Salt Lake City company considered proposals that were richer than its $23 per-share initial public offering last year, none was in the best interest of shareholders, Huntsman said in a Feb. 5 news release. Huntsman has a market capitalization of about $5 billion.
Jon Huntsman, founder and chairman, said the proposals were not adequate, ``particularly in light of the risks, uncertainties and extended timing of the proposed transactions.''
``We believe our historical stock prices have not reflected the full value of our differentiated businesses,'' he said.
The company's options will include expanding various businesses and possibly divesting some to speed up debt reduction, according to Huntsman President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman.
Auto supplier hires expansion adviser
STERLING HEIGHTS, MICH. - Cadence Innovation LLC, the Sterling Heights-based auto supplier made up of the remnants of Venture Holdings Co. LLC, is considering potential acquisitions.
The company announced Feb. 9 that it has hired Jefferies & Co. Inc., an investment bank and institutions securities firm based in New York, to act as ``growth and expansion advisers.''
Jefferies will identify and evaluate merger and acquisition targets and help the injection molder raise needed capital.
``We want to be poised to pursue any opportunities,'' said Jerry Mosingo, president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
The current automotive economic environment, with a number of troubled suppliers available for buyout, means that there are plenty of opportunities available, he said.
Cadence did not identify any specific acquisition targets, but there are a variety of molding operations available, ranging from Collins & Aikman Corp., which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to individual plants within the Ford Motor Co.-controlled Automotive Components Holdings LLC that once were part of Visteon Corp.
Company introduces 17-layer film line
GLOUCESTER, MASS. - Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc., based in Gloucester, is building what could be a multilayer record: a 17-layer cast film line, with nine extruders, to make barrier film for food.
Up until now, Battenfeld Gloucester's largest number of layers was an 11-layer cast line for making stretch film, according to spokesman German Laverde.
The mammoth line will go into operation in the first half of this year at a U.S. customer that makes barrier film for food packaging, Laverde said. He said the machinery maker cannot identify the customer yet.
Applications will range from deep-draw forming film to high-barrier film for pouches and retort food packaging, Laverde said.
Think 17 layers is amazing? According to Battenfeld Gloucester, the cast film line could be expanded to 34 layers in the future.