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News stories tagged with "manufacturing"

River scientists convene in Cornwall

150 scientists from the U.S. and Canada meet in Cornwall, Ontario, today to assess the health of the St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River Institute's annual conference comes on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the hydropower dam. The dam brought clean power and good jobs, but also pollution, Superfund sites, and environmental destruction. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Self-portraits by Cindy Levean (above) and Ray Thibault (below) are a part of the exhibit in Massena.
Self-portraits by Cindy Levean (above) and Ray Thibault (below) are a part of the exhibit in Massena.

Portraits of blue-collar life & loss in Massena

2007 was a roller coaster year for Massena. It ended with the security of knowing Alcoa will keep almost 1,000 jobs in the company town. But in May, hundreds of people's lives were turned upside-down. General Motors announced it will close its plant there, laying off about 500 workers. A new art project aims to make those people more than statistics in the global shift of manufacturing. A half dozen workers and family members used photography and journaling to tell their stories as their lives change forever. Their exhibit is up at the local union hall in Massena through January 17th. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Alcoa promises 1065 jobs in Massena

Massena will stay at least a one company town for decades to come. Months after General Motors decided to shutdown its Massena plant, Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum producer, announced it would stay. Alcoa signed a 30-year low-cost power contract with the New York Power Authority. The company will guarantee more than 1000 jobs and overhaul its two plants in Massena. Governor Eliot Spitzer announced the pact Friday afternoon. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Alcoa commits 1000 jobs to Massena

Massena will remain a company town for at least another four decades. Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum producer, and the New York Power Authority announced a new 30-year contract today. It guarantees more than 1000 jobs and promises a major overhaul the company's two plants. Governor Eliot Spitzer made the announcement today in Massena. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Alcoa, state near power deal

Alcoa and the New York Power Authority are getting closer to an agreement that would keep the aluminum maker in Massena. But reports that a deal is imminent appear premature. A spokesperson for Governor Eliot Spitzer told the Watertown Daily Times "what you're hearing isn't quite what is actually going on." Alcoa and the state signed a confidentiality agreement earlier this month. The two sides are negotiating a new contract to give Alcoa low-cost hydropower produced at the dam on the St. Lawrence River. Alcoa has offered to guarantee 900 jobs and a $600 million renovation at its two plants in Massena. Currently about 1,200 people work there now. Alcoa spokeswoman Susan Flynn told the Times that "progress is being made" in the talks. Speaking in Potsdam last month, Governor Spitzer said he wants a deal done by the end of the year.  Go to full article

Massena GM workers join national strike

General Motors workers in Massena are among the thousands nationwide who walked off the job this morning. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger says the union launched the strike after what he described as ``one-sided negotiations.'' The union is seeking more job security and better benefits. The picketing comes as General Motors prepares to close its Powertrain plant in Massena next year. David Sommerstein spoke with UAW local 465 president Tony Arquette Monday afternoon.  Go to full article
United Auto Workers Local 465 lines up for what could be its last Labor day parade
United Auto Workers Local 465 lines up for what could be its last Labor day parade

Celebrating Labor in Massena

Labor Day is a big day in Massena. Ever since Alcoa built an aluminum smelter near the St. Lawrence River in 1903, Massena has been a town of blue-collar work and unions. The annual Labor Day parade draws more than a dozen unions from across the North Country. Yesterday's parade was clouded by last spring's news that General Motors will close its plant in Massena, laying off almost 500 people. David Sommerstein sent this audio montage from the parade route.  Go to full article

Schumer Meets in Massena

New York Senator Charles Schumer took advantage of his chamber's summer recess to visit the North Country yesterday. He toured the biomass renewable energy plant in Lewis County. And he discussed everything from Iraq and Alcoa to passports and the farm bill in Massena. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Alcoa'a share of low-cost hydropower could determine future in Massena
Alcoa'a share of low-cost hydropower could determine future in Massena

Talks resume but worries persist over Alcoa's Massena operations

Talks have resumed between Alcoa and the New York Power Authority, weighing jobs against the cost of energy at the aluminum manufacturer's facilities in Massena. The current contract expires in 2013. Alcoa officials say they need guarantees on low-cost hydro electricity now in order to secure the local plant's future. Alcoa officials have suggested the company could move its Massena operations elsewhere. More than 1000 jobs could be lost in addition to the 488 jobs that will disappear when General Motors shutters its nearby casting plant. The GM announcement prompted state and local representatives to pressure Gov. Eliot Spitzer to make the stalled Alcoa-NYPA contract talks a top priority. Watertown Republican Jim Wright chairs the Senate committee on energy and telecommunications. He says his role has been to keep the state negotiators and Alcoa talking. Jonathan Brown asked him if this means he wants the state to accept the manufacturer's terms.  Go to full article
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...

Spitzer offers Massena hope, but few details

Governor Eliot Spitzer offered sympathy and hope to about 100 General Motors workers and their families in Massena yesterday. But he had few details about what the future would hold. Spitzer's visit to the United Auto Workers Local 465 union hall comes a little more than a week after General Motors announced it will shutter its Powertrain plant in Massena by the end of 2008. Almost 500 people will lose their jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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