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A union has accused Tesla of spying on workers and improper firing at the company's Buffalo solar products plant in an unfair labor practice charge. The United Steelworkers union, one of two unions attempting to organize workers at the South Buffalo plant, filed the charge this week with the National Labor Relations Board. Specifics of the allegations against Tesla, …

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Unifrax has acquired Stellar Materials, a maker of specialty chemistries and materials based in Boca Raton, Fla. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Stellar's Thermbond products serve as linings in furnaces used in the metals, minerals and hydrocarbon processing industries. Stellar has a manufacturing facility in Whitmore Lake, Mich. Unifrax, based in the Town of T…

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In June 2017, workers at Wendt Corp. voted in favor of joining a union. Two years later, they are still waiting for a first contract to approve. The union and management of the Cheektowaga manufacturer blame each other for a lack of progress. The two years since the certification election have included rallies outside the Walden Avenue plant, numerous bargaining sess…

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General Motors' decision to stop producing cars in March at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio, had personal implications for Mark Dearborn, Julio Vazquez and Amanda Adamson. They worked at the plant and have relocated to continue their careers with GM. All three of them transferred to the same place: GM's engine plant in the Town of Tonawanda. As GM restructures and stops…

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Linde's sprawling campus in the Town of Tonawanda – known until recently as Praxair – is getting refreshed. The company is adding four electric vehicle charging stations to its current collection of 12, as demand from drivers grows. Inside the buildings, sleek LED lighting systems are replacing old, energy-hungry systems. Better building controls systems will help Linde…

Altra Industrial Motion Corp. is following through on plans to close its Amherst facility, eliminating 79 jobs. The former Thompson Linear Motion facility on Hazelwood Drive will make its first job cuts in August, and the plant is scheduled to close in mid-October, according to a filing with the state Department of Labor. Boston-based Altra had signaled in February t…

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Empire Emergency Apparatus operates out of a former fire hall in the Town of Niagara. It's a suitable spot for a business that focuses on installing aftermarket equipment on vehicles, including for fire and police departments and public works departments. Empire's employees add components such as lights, computer mounting systems and partitions. For some specialty ve…

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Better transportation. Less restrictive drug testing policies. More apprenticeships. These are some of the ideas a new study by labor and community groups raises to promote diversity in the region's manufacturing workforce, at a time when those employers are clamoring to fill job openings. While manufacturers grapple with a wave of retirements by experienced workers,…

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General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to visit the automaker's Town of Tonawanda engine plant on Thursday. Barra will meet with employees but will not make any announcements during her visit, according to a GM spokeswoman. Barra will be joined by Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing. The Tonawanda engine complex is one of…

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National Grid is providing two grants worth $550,000 to support the Northland Workforce Training Center, as well as $10,000 for a van to support students receiving training there. The utility's grants include a $300,000 brownfield redevelopment grant, and a $250,000 urban center/commercial district revitalization grant. The funds are helping the center achieve its remed…

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General Motors has named the next head of its Lockport components plant, after the automaker's last choice for the job instead left the company. Ken Johnson will be the plant director, after serving as the assistant plant director of a GM assembly plant in Wentzille, Mo. Johnson has been with GM for nearly 17 years, working at a number of locations. He earned a mecha…

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Tesla's solar panel factory stands on a site with historical significance to the United Steelworkers union, as the long-ago home of a Republic Steel complex. "They built that facility on what we consider sacred USW land, where thousands of good family-sustaining jobs were for decades, prior to the plant closure," said Maria Somma, organizing director for the Pittsburgh-…

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General Motors' Lockport plant still needs a new director. Konstantinos Katakis, who was scheduled to take over leadership of the plant, has instead left the company, a GM spokesman said. Katakis had been the director of a GM plant in Silao, Mexico, and was designated to replace William Tiger, who retired earlier this year. Dan Hesch, the assistant plant manager, has…

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Truck-Lite will move its headquarters to suburban Detroit, but will maintain about 90 percent of the jobs it has at its Falconer operations. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said the truck lighting supplier will move its headquarters to Southfield, Mich. Michigan officials said Truck-Lite plans to invest $4 million in a new building and create 95 jobs after reloc…

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A new labor-backed study says unions are effective at boosting wages for all workers in the region, but cautions that a changing economy is altering the outlook for the region's jobs and what they pay. The Partnership for the Public Good's study notes a shift from traditionally unionized jobs like manufacturing to nonunion jobs in sectors like retail and personal servic…