Vancouver-based Ainsworth Lumber Co. announced in January 2009 that it would permanently close its oriented strand board mills in Bemidji and Cook, Minn. After a second wave of layoffs, the Bemidji mill ceased operations in December 2008, putting about 140 area employees out of work.
“You can’t walk through the halls here without running into someone you used to work with,” said Curt Peterson, a former utility worker at the mill who's now frequenting the halls and classrooms of Bemidji's Northwest Technical College.
Bobcat Co.'s Bismarck plant workers were told Wednesday the Bismarck plant will close permanently by the end of the year, with about 390 of its 475 jobs transferred to the company’s plant in Gwinner, N.D. “There were a lot of chins hanging on the floor,” said employee Ron Vogel, who worked at the plant for 26 years.
Sony Corp. said it lost 98.9 billion yen ($1 billion) in the fiscal year through March, its first annual net loss in 14 years. It projected it would lose even more money this year amid a serious slump in consumer demand for electronics goods. Sony, which makes Bravia flat-panel TVs and Cyber-shot digital cameras, said today it is closing three plants in Japan to help turn its business around. It is also in the midst of cutting 16,000 workers.
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