Wednesday, February 28, 2007
About 70,000 workers missed days on the job because of labor disputes last year, only about one-fourth as many as a decade ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The change reflects the more powerful position of employers, high anxiety among workers and new labor strategies, according to labor veterans and analysts.
The number of those who missed days because of work stoppages was 273,000 in 1996 and had grown to 394,000 by 2000.
'Employers have a much stronger hand in the workplace,' said Stewart Acuff, organizing director at the AFL-CIO. 'People are afraid to strike and afraid to join unions' because of the imbalance of power.
A year ago today, AK Steel, the city's largest employer, locked out hourly employees at its Middletown Works when it couldn't reach agreement with the union on a new contract and began operating the plant with about 1,800 replacement workers.
The company and the International Association of Machinists Local 1943 are still no closer to agreement.
And this interesting quote, later on. I'm not sure what to make of it.
In the more than 100 years the Middletown Works has been in operation, there's been only one other brief, four-day company lockout of the workers in 1986.
In the year since the Middletown lockout began, the company has reached new agreements with unions at four other plants. The most recent was last week in Coshocton, Ohio, where 380 members of United Autoworkers Local 3462 overwhelmingly approved a new three-year agreement. Since 2003, McCoy said, AK has negotiated 10 new labor agreements with its unions without a strike or lockout.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Production at the Kamoto mine is scheduled to begin late this year and according to the company, once fully operational, the mine will produce 150,000 tonnes of copper and 5, 000 tonnes of cobalt per annum at one of the world’s lowest operating costs.
A new source of copper would be a handy thing 'round about now, what with copper prices still way above "normal" and once again on the rise.
Metal stampers need stable resource prices in order to make good purchasing decisions. This up and down stuff is nuts. Makers of small parts especially have no market clout with the suppliers and must accept whatever the going price is. Which can make or break profits for small part stampers.
Six U.S. senators representing Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have endorsed Alabama’s bid for a proposed 2,700-worker steel plant.
The German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG is evaluating whether to build the $2.9 billion plant in north Mobile County, Ala. or St. James Parish in southeast Louisiana.
A decision is expected by May.
Friday, February 23, 2007
London Metal Exchange copper traded on Friday at its highest since Jan. 2
Friday, February 16, 2007
Germany's second largest steelmaker, Salzgitter AG, is in talks to acquire Canadian rival Algoma Steel, the German firm said on Thursday.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Copper prices have fallen 15 percent so far in 2007 and are down almost 40 percent from May's record $8,800-a-tonne high.
Traders said many of the funds had or were about to leave the base metals complex to return to their core activities such as equities, bonds and currencies.
'The game has changed completely...base metals are no longer the apple in the eye of the funds,' the trader said.
'We are in the race of our lives for talent right now as manufacturers,' says Erick Ajax, owner of E.J. Ajax & Sons, one of this country's leading metal stamping companies. Finding, training, and retaining people to fill skilled manufacturing jobs is much more than a vexing problem to men and women like Ajax, it's literally a matter of business survival. Figuring out the solution is crucial, not only for helping businesses succeed, but also understanding how low-income workers can get and stay on a career path that leads to higher incomes and, at least as important, building assets.
The article goes on to talk about how metal stampers are facing challenges, with (mostly) an aging workforce and no one in the public school system training younger workers (or retraining middle aged ones in new skills).
So a group of manufacturers got together with the PMA, NAM and a local technical college to do skills improvement courses.
another blogger had to say about it.
And here's a link to the PMA Educational Foundation, a part of the PMA I vaguely knew about but clearly not enough.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Zinc plunged the most in nine years and copper dropped to a 10-month low, fueled by a report of losses by metals-trading hedge fund Red Kite Management Ltd.