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Domestic automakers shutting down Posted by on

No, this isn't the same old story about trouble at Ford, GM and Chrysler. It's about Toyota having to shut down plants in Japan for eleven days this month because of steep declines in sales. The story reports that Toyota sales were down 37% last month, more than sales reductions for either GM or Ford.

Last month, Toyota reported an annual loss for the first time in the company's 70-year history.

The story also reports that Toyota is shutting two truck plants in the United States for three months.

TAGS: Economy

Temporary blip in construction Posted by on

An Associated Press story notes that nonresidential construction unexpectedly declined less than residential construction in November.

Good news, but temporary. Unless future months continue to defy expectations, steep declines in construction spending will continue throughout 2009. Sources in the article cite significant slides in consumer spending, leading to lower demand for new retail space and lower employment, leading to declines in the need for office space as signs of a dismal near-future.

The only good news in the article--which seems often repeated as one of the very few sources of hope for the economy--is President-elect Barack Obama's plan to make massive federal investments in infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges and public buildings.

Simon James announces retirement Posted by on

Brother Simon James, who serves as the Warden of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters as well as the Business Manager of Carpenters Local 108 and Regional Manager for Central and Western Massachusetts, has announced his retirement from those positions, effective December 31, 2008.

James has been a member of the Brotherhood for more than 29 years and has served as a Trustee on numerous benefit and training funds. He was elected to serve as the NERCC Warden in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich has appointed Jack Donahue to fill out James?? unexpired term on the NERCC Executive Board as Warden. Donahue will also take over as Regional Manager for Central and Western Massachusetts. Jason Garand has been named Business Manager for Local 108.

TAGS: Nercc