AIG considers suing US over bailout

Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 3:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 3:13 PM

This may be a case of biting the hand that gave you $182 billion.

The American International Group (AIG) board plans to meet today to decide if it will join in a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government (that’s you) over the terms of its 2008 bailout, the New York Times reported.

Sounds crazy, we know.

According to the Times: “The lawsuit contends that the onerous nature of the rescue — the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company, the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients — deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for ‘public use, without just compensation.’”

According to the Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) are among the politicians disturbed by the potential suit.

“Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough,” Warren said, according to The Hill’s “On the Money” blog.

The ‘suing us’ talk comes just weeks after AIG released its commercial thanking us for all that awesome help in using $182 billion to save it from collapse.

What do you think?

Should suing us even be an option for AIG?

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Walmart using robots to stock shelves

Published: Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 11:56 AM
Updated: Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 12:10 PM

            Ashley VanHorn, a grocery department dry goods manager, stocks shelves at the Walmart in Fulton, N.Y. Walmart is now using robots to help stock shelves at 50 stores across the country. (Roger Kisby/The New York Times)
            ROGER KISBY
Ashley VanHorn, a grocery department dry goods manager, stocks shelves at the Walmart in Fulton, N.Y. Walmart is now using robots to help stock shelves at 50 stores across the country. (Roger Kisby/The New York Times)(ROGER KISBY)

Walmart is now using robots to help stock shelves at 50 stores across the country.

The robots are helping scan and stock items in stores before the busiest shopping season of the year. The robots are about two-feet-tall and are outfitted with cameras that help them scan aisles and identify missing or mislabeled inventory across the stores. The robots also check for mispriced items, and give the information to employees who fix the issues.

The technology will be used in a test cycle at stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Walmart officials say the robots can scan and search for items more efficiently than humans can. “If you are running up and down the aisle and you want to decide if we are out of Cheerios or not, a human doesn’t do that job very well, and they don’t like it,” chief technology officer for Walmart U.S. and e-commerce, Jeremy King told Reuters.

“From our perspective, when you’re doing things like this you’re trying to improve your service to your customers and trying to make things simpler and easier for your associates at the same time,” John Crecelius, Walmart’s vice president of central operations, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Humans don’t have to be worried about their jobs anytime soon, Walmart officials said. The robots do not have arms, so they can’t pick any products up in the aisles, said Martin Hitch, chief business officer at Bossa Nova Robotics.

Wages lawsuit against Fuyao gets bigger

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and check windshields in the Fuyao Moraine plant in this October 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and check windshields in the Fuyao Moraine plant in this October 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

More plaintiffs are seeking to join what could become a class-action lawsuit against Fuyao Glass America, at a time when the company is facing a plant unionization effort by the United Auto Workers.

Attorneys filed in Dayton’s federal court Wednesday seeking to have Connie Childress join a lawsuit against Fuyao, a lawsuit first filed in June.

The suit seeks to recover what are alleged to be unpaid wages and overtime owed to Fuyao production workers in Moraine.

RELATED: Two more former workers join Fuyao lawsuit

The automotive glass maker is fighting the lawsuit and has said that any allegations by the plaintiffs that they were not properly paid are “without merit.”

The filing on behalf of Childress came just days after a similar filing on behalf of Jennifer Mayabb, who also seeks to join the lawsuit against a company that has proven to be one of the Dayton area’s fastest growing manufacturers.

The suit was first filed in June and now has at least five plaintiffs.

RELATEDFuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote

Originally filed by Julia Staggs, a former employee of Fuyao, Staggs has argued that she and other “similarly situated” Fuyao employees are owed for alleged unpaid wages and overtime.

The plaintiffs want certification of the action as a class-action lawsuit. Attorney for Fuyao are arguing against that.

“Plaintiffs’ motion is a bid to have this court rubber stamp conditional certification without evidentiary support and despite the fact that plaintiffs brought individualized claims with widespread differences between them and among potential class members,” attorneys for Fuyao said in a filing with the court earlier this month.

They added: “Plaintiffs’ proposed class is a disorganized collection of over 1,500 individual claims, lacking any possibility of efficient case management. Plaintiffs’ own statements demonstrate the complexity of the proposed class (and sub-class) and varying allegations regarding unpaid time.”

RELATEDFuyao workers seek union election: What we know now

Bob DeRose, the Columbus attorney for Staggs, said he hopes to know before the end of the year whether the judge will certify the suit with class-action status. 

If that happens, then DeRose said he will write to other Fuyao employees to let them know they have a right to join the suit. 

A message seeking comment was sent to attorneys for Fuyao. 

Fuyao Glass America has about 2,000 employees in Moraine, at what the company says is the world’s largest automotive glass factory. About 1,500 of those workers are hourly production workers.

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Honda takes students behind-the scenes of engine plant

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Students from several area high schools got the chance to tour the Honda engine plant in Anna Wednesday during Manufacturing Day.

About 600 high school students visited Honda’s Anna Engine Plant on Wednesday in an effort plant leaders said will help students better understand the plant and the work opportunities available to them.

Honda employs about 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign counties, and the automaker employs about 14,500 Ohioans overall.

DETAILS: 3 things to know about the newest Honda Accord made at Marysville

The Anna Engine Plant is Honda’s largest engine plant, said Paul Dentinger, Anna Plant Manager. It employs about 3,200 people. This is the first time the plant has hosted a Manufacturing Day event where high school students can tour the plant, he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us here at the Anna Engine Plant,” Dentinger said, “bringing in some of that hopefully future top talent.”

The plant hopes to host events like this in the future, Dentinger said.

This is the fifth year that the U.S. Census Bureau has recognized Manufacturing Day across the country, according to a release from the bureau. Manufacturing is an important economic sector in the country, the release says. The industry is the fourth largest employer in the United States, with 11.6 million workers, according the census bureau.

RELATED: Honda, Toyota supplier to add 85 jobs, build $55M Springfield plant

Visitors from 19 schools toured the plant on Wednesday, including students from the Upper Valley Career Center, Anna Local Schools and Sidney City Schools. The students walked the plant floor where they saw the assembly line and talked with engineers about the pieces that go into the engine and how they maintain the quality of those parts.

It’s an important time for the plant to reach out to young people, Dentinger said.

“Right now we have many people that will be retiring so the next generation of workforce is very important to us as we continue to grow as a company,” he said.

Plus many students have misconceptions about the Anna Engine Plant, he said.

“Most people think we’re just a manufacturing facility but actually Honda is much more than that,” he said.

There are positions at the company in marketing, human resources, accounting and more, he said.

READ MORE: Urbana firm to add 20-plus jobs as part of $2.7M expansion

The plant tour was eye-opening for Logan Siegel, a junior at Upper Valley Career Center.

“It’s hard to believe how many people work here … It made me really get excited about machining and the manufacturing industry,” he said.

Siegel is taking manufacturing classes at Upper Valley Career Center and said the tour was a confidence booster.

“It makes me confident to know that this is something I want to go down,” he said.

It showed another student at Upper Valley what it could be like to work at the plant.

“I could definitely see myself coming here if the things work out the way I want them to,” senior Nathan Hausfeld said.

He’s also taking manufacturing classes and was excited to learn he may not have to go far to get a good job.

“If you want to do this,” he said, “this is the place to be.”

By the numbers

1,400: Honda workers from Clark and Champaign counties

14,500: Honda workers in Ohio overall

11.6 million: Manufacturing workers in the industrial nationwide, according to the census

Complete coverage

The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories about jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent coverage of local unemployment rates and how driverless cars could affect Navistar.

Afraid of a recession? Consider working in these 5 industries

Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 5:55 PM

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The American economy might be humming along right now, but you should be prepared in case that changes. Job seekers hoping to insulate their careers from even the most devastating downturn should opt for expanding industries and specialized tasks that can’t be done by a robot or are less likely to be outsourced to another country.

Here are five industries that fit that bill:

Information security

Within the information technology sector, information security analysts are among the most in demand as the number of cyberattacks on computer networks and systems increases. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted an increase by 18 percent, or 14,800 jobs, between 2014 and 2024, making for many new job listings.

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In light of this trend, colleges are implementing dedicated information security programs to help train aspiring analysts. Many already in the workforce hold more generalized bachelor’s degrees in computer science, programming or related fields.

Until employers are able to fulfill the ever-growing need for information security analysts, such workers will likely find themselves logging overtime and on-call hours to protect their organizations’ computer networks and systems. In exchange, many take home a nearly six-figure salary of $92,600, the median annual average in May 2016, according to the BLS.

Healthcare and surgery

A growing number of health care providers and their clients might be trying out telemedicine or conducting robotic surgery, but some procedures and calls can’t be handled solely through technological tools.

“Even with the automation of some functions in the medical field, nothing can replace a real person taking care of you,” said Cheryl Palmer, founder and president of the career coaching firm Call to Career. There will always be a demand for doctors, who need an extensive education that typically includes an undergraduate degree, a medical degree, and often three to seven years spent in internships and residencies, depending on the practitioner’s specialty.

This might not be the best career choice if you’re looking for work-life balance. Doctors tend to work long hours or endure irregular schedules, overnight hours and mandatory shifts on call. But helping patients feel their best can be personally and financially rewarding.

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Primary care physicians received a median annual compensation of $241,273, and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $411,852, according to the Medical Group Management Association’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey, published in 2015.

Occupational therapy

Medically minded people who don’t want to spend as much time in school could opt to become occupational therapy assistants, one of more than a half-dozen health care industry jobs on the BLS list of fastest growing careers. The median annual wage for OT assistants was $59,010 in May 2016, according to BLS figures. This pay can help compensate for the physical demands that can come with a career helping clients complete challenging tasks to cultivate and improve skills needed for daily living.

If you want to be an occupational therapy assistant, you need an associate degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program and a professional license in most states. Post-high school training and licensing requirements are typical of many of the best jobs for weathering a recession, said Bruce Hurwitz, president of the executive recruiting and career coaching firm Hurwitz Strategic Staffing.

“Recession-proof jobs are any jobs that are hands-on,” he said. “Think of anything from an auto mechanic to a physician. These are jobs that provide services that, despite the economy, people still need.”

Automotive service

An economic downturn could actually boost job security for mechanics and other auto repair specialists as drivers look to keep cars running longer. Most technicians need to complete post-secondary education programs and earn certifications in their field to land entry-level jobs. They must also be more computer-savvy than mechanics of a generation ago.

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Automotive technicians have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations, according to the BLS. They must frequently work with heavy parts and tools at their job sites, putting them at risk for workplace injuries such as cuts, sprains and bruises.

Those hazards could be a small price to pay in exchange for good job security and a solid salary. The median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $38,470 in May 2016.

Accounting and auditing

For some people, crunching numbers isn’t the most fun or attractive way to earn a salary. That’s why certain types of financial services professionals are always in demand, according to human resource experts. After all, keeping close tabs on company cash flow can be even more crucial during an economic downturn, which means tax accountants, forensic accountants, auditors and those with similar titles are fairly insulated during recessions.

These professions typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, but the educational investment will probably pay off. Accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $68,150 as of May 2016, according to the BLS. These are also among the few jobs on this list that offer some remote and work-from-home options.