Wacker Plant Hit With Lawsuit
At least 10 people, who completed a year-and-half-long program at the Wacker Institute, are now suing the Wacker-Chemie company. They claim they were promised a job, but were never able to start work or get a paycheck. They say they were supposed to start this past April.
"It wasn't just that I was let down, but I also let down my family," says graduate James Loemker.
Loemker has a wife and kids. He's like many who graduated from the Wacker Institute.
"A lot of us took out loans, some of us were sleeping in our cars," says Loemker.
They were hoping to work as chemical operators at the Wacker plant in Charleston, Tennessee making polysilicon.
The employee offer letter says if they finished the program, the students would be given a job at the plant - but that never happened.
"When it came time to hold up their end, they told us it'll be years basically don't call us, we'll call you," says Loemker.
Court records we obtained Thursday say the students were promised an annual salary of about $50,000 and a signing bonus of $3,000.
"I bought a house in Cleveland. I moved from East Ridge, I took out loans, I ended my career that I had for 7 years with another local employer," says Michael Bridges.
Wacker released a statement Thursday saying, "Throughout our 100-year history, Wacker has demonstrated a strong commitment to our people, to the environment, and to society. Our products, as well as our internal policies and procedures, reflect this fundamental commitment. We want to assure the community that Wacker remains committed to our investment in Bradley County, and our employment goals to support economic growth in the region through construction and operation of our facility. Wacker has always been a flexible, market oriented company, and in this instance, we had to adjust our construction timeline and our growth strategy due to the prevailing global economic and market conditions facing the polysilicon industry. Although we were able to preserve the jobs of our employees, we were unable to offer employment to the students at the present time. Nonetheless, we remain confident that the skills and education these students gained during their advanced technical training at Chattanooga State Community College will be of future value and can benefit them greatly, whether they ultimately join the Wacker Team, or whether their careers take them elsewhere. “
Wacker says the plant in Charleston opens in 2015. Wacker wouldn't comment when we asked if there are classes happening right now at the Wacker Institute. But, a Chattanooga state employee told us there is still chemical engineering classes offered at the college.
By Jerry Askin
More Business News
Last Update on July 02, 2015 07:49 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also release unemployment data for June.
Also today, the Commerce Department will issue its report on factory orders for May and Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece is bracing for more chaos on the streets. Banks have been closed all week to prevent a crash from mass money withdrawals, while a few have been reopened to help pensioners without ATM cards.
Meanwhile, Greece and its creditors have halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend.
The Greek government doesn't want to put up more collateral in order to receive the final installment of bailout money, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (TSEE'-prahs) believes a "no" vote from citizens gives Athens a strong negotiating position.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Moody's investors service is slashing Greece's rating from Caa2 to Caa3, or just above default. It's the country's fourth ratings downgrade this week.
The agency says Greece is likely to default on its remaining privately held debt due to its impasse with lenders.
It says "Events of recent months have illustrated the distance between what Greece's official creditors will demand as a condition of continued support over the coming years, and what Greece's institutions are able to do to meet those demands.."
Moody's goes on to say that "This creates significant difficulties for the achievement of a long-lasting support agreement."
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT-GE APPLIANCE
NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. government is suing to stop Electrolux from buying General Electric's appliance division, saying the combined company would dominate sales of kitchen appliances to customers like home builders, property managers, hotels, and governments.
General Electric Co. says it will defend the sale in court and aims to complete the $3.3 billion deal this year.
The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the sale. It says GE and Electrolux, the owner of the Frigidaire brand, have been competing for decades to sell appliances like ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens.
The agency says Electrolux would eliminate a major competitor if it buys the GE division, and Electrolux and Whirlpool would be the only major companies selling appliances to many customers.
CARGILL PORK ACQUISITION
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The U.S. subsidiary of a Brazilian-based international meat processor is buying the pork division of Cargill Inc.
JBS USA, a division of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS, and Cargill said Wednesday they have signed an agreement for the $1.45 billion transaction.
JBS USA Pork Chief Operating Officer Martin Dooley says it's a strategic investment in the long-term growth of the company's U.S. pork business.
The deal includes Cargill processing plants in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Illinois. The two plants processed 9.3 million hogs last year.
Feed mills in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas are included, along with hog farms in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
JBS entered the U.S. pork market in 2007 when it bought Swift & Co. It sells products under the Swift and Swift Premium brand names.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Ebay's PayPal unit is buying Xoom for $890 million cash in a bid to expand into international money transfers.
Xoom is a San Francisco-based digital money transfer provider. The company's technology lets U.S. customers send money to, and pay bills for, family and friends worldwide with their mobile phones, tablets and computers.
PayPal said Wednesday it's paying $25 per share for Xoom Corp., a premium of nearly 21 percent over the company's closing price of $20.70.
PayPal said Xoom's presence in 37 countries including key markets like Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil will accelerate its expansion.
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval by Xoom shareholders and antitrust regulators and other closing conditions.
PayPal itself is splitting off into an independent company later this month.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is moving forward with plans to split into two companies, filing paperwork to create a new entity that will sell commercial technology, while a separate spinoff will sell personal computers and printers.
HP said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the new company called Hewlett Packard Enterprise will include units of the old HP that sold computer hardware, software and tech services for large organizations. The papers show those units had $25.6 billion in sales over the last two quarters, with net earnings of $852 million.
CEO Meg Whitman, who will lead the new enterprise company, said in a statement that the split remains on track to occur by November.
HP, meanwhile, said one of its senior executives, Bill Veghte, resigned this week to pursue an unspecified new opportunity.
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