Little Tikes cuts 50 employees in Ohio
HUDSON, OHIO - MGA Entertainment Inc., the Bratz doll maker that bought Little Tikes Co. last year, is cutting 50 white-collar jobs from Tikes' factory in Hudson. Meanwhile, local and state economic development officials are working to keep Tikes, one of the country's largest rotational molding companies, in Ohio.
MGA is looking at several options, including moving Tikes to Los Angeles or Mexico, said Jody Roberts, communications manager for the city of Hudson.
``They are looking seriously at it, and they're also looking here,'' she said. ``We're trying to show them the advantages of not only staying here, but also growing here.''
Officials from the Little Tikes factory and MGA Entertainment could not be reached for comment.
Published reports said the 50 employees will remain on the job for 90 days while the company helps them find other jobs. After the layoffs in September, the Tikes plant will employ about 350 hourly and 110 office workers, the reports said.
MGA Entertainment of Van Nuys, Calif., bought Little Tikes from Newell Rubbermaid Inc. in a deal that closed in late 2006. Isaac Larian, MGA's founder and chief executive officer, has said he wants financial assistance from Ohio, indicating he wants to keep manufacturing in Hudson. MGA is consolidating some administrative jobs with its California headquarters.
``We want them to be profitable here,'' Roberts said. ``We are aware of the current layoffs, and that we do regret. But we are working very closely with them to help them stay here in Hudson.''
Plasticology to open factory in Iowa
HAWARDEN, IOWA - Startup injection molder Plasticology LLC is tuning up the first two of six presses it is installing in its recently purchased facility in Hawarden.
``We will be doing startups for a couple of weeks,'' said Arlen Maranell, operations manager of the new company, in a telephone interview.
Maranell, who touts his 30 years of custom molding experience, including the setup of three new plants, said Plasticology will do custom work for industries such as construction and after-market medical.
He said the privately owned company employs five so far, and it will continue to add people and machinery. The firm's presses will range up to 2,000 tons in clamping force.
The city of Hawarden sold Plasticology a 13,300-square-foot facility, which was once a community college gymnasium. The company plans to add 30,000 square feet to the building.
Hawarden city administrator Jason Metten was pleased with how quickly the sale progressed, noting the City Council allowed Plasticology to install equipment as a permanent arrangement was being finalized.
``Everything has moved pretty quickly,'' Metten said.
He said the city's 2,478 residents offer Plasticology a hard work ethic created by many generations of farmers.
The city's cooperation played a big factor in Plasticology's decision to locate in Hawarden, Maranell said. City leaders also offered to rebate a portion of new property taxes for the planned expansion.
Two EPS bans dead in Calif. Legislature
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Two of the three measures in the California state Legislature that would ban the use of expanded polystyrene containers are dead for 2007.
AB 904, which would have prohibited the use of EPS in takeout packaging, did not make it to the Assembly floor for a vote by a June 6 deadline. Neither did AB 820, the proposed ban on EPS in state facilities.
But SB 899, the state's most far-reaching anti-plastics measure - a ban on a variety of plastics in packaging - is scheduled for a late June hearing in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. It already has passed the Senate.
The Toxic Free Oceans Act of 2007 would ban companies from manufacturing, processing or distributing any plastics packaging ranging in size from 8 fluid ounces to 5 gallons that contain styrene, vinyl chloride, bisphenol A, perfluoroctanoic acid, nonylphenol or alkylphenol.
In the past 15 months, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Monica, Calabasas, Capitola and Emeryville have passed bans.