Saturday, September 20, 2003

Tristate Summary

From wire reports

Ford could close Lorain van plant

Ford Motor Co. has negotiated an option with the United Auto Workers to close its full-size van plant in Lorain, Ohio, according to a source familiar with the tentative UAW contract.

The company cannot confirm any aspect of the agreement until the union votes for ratification, Ford spokesman Rich Voytowich said Thursday.

Jack Hall, president of UAW Local 425 representing the workers at the Lorain plant, said the status of the plant wouldn't be known until local officials are briefed on the contract by UAW negotiators.

The 45-year-old plant, about 25 miles west of Cleveland, employs about 1,600 and produces the Econoline van.

Indiana may need new power plants

Indiana utilities might need to build new power plants within five years to meet the state's increasing demand for electricity, researchers said.

The findings were included in the state Utility Forecasting Group's biennial report, presented to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission this week.

The forecasting group is a state-funded panel of researchers based at Purdue University.

In its report, the panel projected Indiana will require 2,400 more megawatts of electricity by 2008, or 10 percent more than current capacity. One megawatt can serve 1,000 homes for an hour.

CME Automotive plans expansion

CME Automotive said it plans to invest $5.5 million in an expansion that will create up to 100 jobs at its Monroeville, Ind., plant.

CME said it would spend $3 million to build a 75,000-square-foot distribution center. The company also plans to invest $2.5 million in new equipment to increase manufacturing capacity at the plant 25 miles southeast of Fort Wayne.

The expansion is needed to support the company's growth, David Stevens, vice president of administration, said Wednesday.

CME, a Mount Pleasant, Mich.-based subsidiary of Mitsuba Corp., last year reported annual sales of nearly $230 million. About 200 people work at the Monroeville plant, which produces front wiper systems, seat motor systems and other components for customers such as Honda and Nissan.

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