In the Region
Chrysler to shut Bucks unit, lay off 290
Chrysler Financial Services Americas L.L.C.
will close its call center in Chalfont on Aug. 31, putting 290 people out of work, according to a mass layoff notice filed with Pennsylvania's
Department of Labor and Industry
. The notice said the work would be transferred to call centers in Dallas and Jacksonville, Fla., or to employees who work from home. But, said Kelly Mankin, vice president of marketing communications, there is not much work to transfer. "We have a dramatically declining portfolio," he said. The company handled $70 billion in accounts before the automotive-industry restructuring last year. Now, it services $26 billion in accounts, he said, adding: "We're continuing to liquidate our portfolio."
- Jane M. Von Bergen
Ametek buys Conn. assemblies-maker
Paoli, said it paid $270 million in cash for
, a Waterbury, Conn., manufacturer of assemblies used in the medical, industrial-equipment, aerospace, and other industries. Haydon, with annual sales of $85 million, also has factories in New Hampshire and China. Ametek, which makes electronic instruments, said Haydon would add 5 cents per share to 2010 earnings and 13 cents per share to earnings in the first four quarters of Ametek's ownership.
- Harold Brubaker
Pa. department quarantines cattle
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
quarantined 28 head of cattle in Tioga County that came into contact with drilling wastewater two months ago from a Marcellus Shale natural gas operation. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said it was unknown if the cattle consumed the salty wastewater, which also contains dangerous chemicals and metals, but the department was ordering the quarantine as a precaution. Redding said the main concern was the heavy metal strontium, which can be toxic to humans. Cows should be quarantined for six months; calves for two years. The spill occurred in early May when wastewater leaked from an impoundment at an
East Resources Inc.
well site and flowed into an adjacent field. In a statement, East Resources said that the spill was cleaned up and that it might contest the quarantine order.
- Andrew Maykuth
Aker workers get layoff notices
Thirty-eight unionized workers at
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard
, and an undisclosed number of nonunion management employees, received layoff notices Thursday, effective July 12. The shipbuilder said June 22 that it would begin "rolling furloughs" because of lack of new ship orders or enough work for more than 1,000 employees at the Navy Yard. The
Philadelphia Metal Trades Council
, which represents 11 unions and 440 Aker union employees, filed a grievance, contending that management violated the union contract, which stipulates that subcontractors must be laid off before regular Aker employees. None of the 500 contract employees was laid off, said council president Gary Gaydosh. Aker spokesman Scott Clapham said: "We are adjusting our workforce based on the work we have. We are not giving specifics."
- Linda Loyd
Institute receives NIH contract
Coriell Institute for Medical Research
, Camden, said it received a five-year, $6 million contract to manage the aging-cell repository for the
National Institutes of Health
. The repository stores biomaterials for research on the degenerative processes associated with aging and contains more than 2,000 cell lines from people with Alzheimer's disease and premature aging disorders. Coriell, a nonprofit institution, is responsible for selecting, characterizing, documenting, and storing new age-related cell lines for research.
- Paul Schweizer
Missile-program contract for Lancaster company
Herley Industries Inc.
won a $5.7 million contract to make flight-termination transponders for a U.S. missile program, the Lancaster company said. A transponder provides a signal that, under given conditions, helps to end a missile flight or abort a launch. Herley manufactures equipment using microwave technology for the defense, aerospace, and medical industries.
- Paul Schweizer
U.S. computer grants to be announced
The federal government is to announce Friday a $6.4 million grant to create or enhance 75 public computer centers for area residents to use in North, West, and South Philadelphia. The grant is among 66 projects nationwide intended to increase use of the Internet that will be announced by President Obama. The Philadelphia grant will be matched by $3.3 million in funds from the city.
- Paul Schweizer
Toyota announces recall over stalling
Toyota Motor Corp.
says it will recall 270,000 vehicles worldwide next Monday to fix faulty engines. Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said Friday that the recalled vehicles include seven models of luxury Lexus sedans and the popular Crown. Of the 270,000 vehicles, 180,000 were sold overseas and the rest in Japan. Nolasco said Toyota would inform Japan's transport ministry of a recall of 90,000 vehicles on Monday. It is the latest quality issue to confront the Japanese automaker after a string of massive recalls. Defective engines can stall while the vehicle is moving. The automaker has scrambled to repair its reputation after the recall of 8.5 million vehicles around the globe because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that can get trapped in floor mats.
House votes to extend aid; tie-up in Senate
More than 1.3 million laid-off workers will not get their unemployment benefits reinstated before Congress goes on a weeklong break for Independence Day. And hundreds of thousands more will lose their benefits in the coming weeks. The
voted, 270-153, Thursday to extend jobless benefits for people who have been laid off for long stretches, but the gesture was made futile by the Senate's inability to pass the bill. The bill would extend unemployment payments for up to a total of 99 weeks, for people whose state-paid benefits have run out. The measure stands a better chance of passing the Senate after a replacement is named for Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D., W.Va.), who died Monday.