(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 23 Dec. 2008

NOTE: Due to a holiday break, this is the last WisBusiness e-mail product of 2008. Publication of e-mail products will resume on Monday, Jan. 5. Until then visit www.wisbusiness.com for the latest business news.

Happy holidays.

From WisBusiness.com …

— Today is the last day of production at the Janesville GM plant, as the last SUV at the plant was set to be completed early this morning.

See more on the plant closing below in TOP STORIES

— Following through on its promise, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce filed suit to strike down the city’s paid sick leave ordinance.

The group is also seeking an injunction in Milwaukee County Circuit Court to halt enforcement of the mandate, scheduled to take effect Feb. 10, until the court rules on the validity of the ordinance. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 29 before Judge Dominic Amato.

The group that led the efforts to pass the ordinance, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, accused the MMAC in a press release of using scare tactics and trying to disenfranchise voters.

“Instead of providing better services for businesses to help them survive the economic crisis, they are attacking this ordinance and seek to waste taxpayer money at a time when city budgets are tight,” the press release stated.  “Paid Sick Days is not the problem and should not be blamed for any economic crisis, and the MMAC is using scare tactics to convince people otherwise. ”

In its complaint, the MMAC argues that the referendum language was misleading, that the ordinance conflicts with the state’s minimum wage law and the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act is unconstitutionally vague. The suit claims it was enacted without first establishing the need  to address an actual problem and that it exceeds the jurisdiction of the city by imposing the requirement on employers outside city boundaries.

MMAC President Tim Sheehy says the ordinance has already had a “chilling impact” on job growth in the city and is causing uncertainty among employers

See the WisBusiness story for more: http://wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=144234

— The U.S. Small Business Administration says it has has approved more than 7,821 disaster loans in Midwest states affected by this year’s flooding, for a total of $394 million to homeowners, renters and businesses in five states.

States affected by the floods included Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, with Iowa being hardest hit.

— Joy Global Inc. announced that its wholly-owned China Mining Machinery subsidiary has completed the acquisition of Chinese manufacturer Wuxi Shengda for $22.0 million excluding closing costs.

A statement from Joy Global says Wuxi Shengda provides the company with a foothold in the China market for domestic equipment to better serve that country’s local and regional mining industry.



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Press Releases
Manpower Inc.: Withdraws fourth quarter 2008 guidance
· Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce: MMAC files lawsuit challenging City of Milwaukee sick leave mandate
· Schneider Logistics: ArvinMeritor names Schneider Logistics diversity supplier of the year

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Janesville workers punch out : The end of most production at the Janesville General Motors Corp. plant comes today, an end that is arriving more quickly than anyone would have imagined a year ago. Some 1,250 employees are working their final shifts at the SUV plant today. A few dozen others will remain until June to finish production of some medium-duty trucks for Isuzu.

– Last SUV Completed At Shuttering Janesville GM Plant

– Family’s Three Generations Reflect On GM’s Closing

– GM Plant Shutdown Means Job Losses For Suppliers

– Local Colleges Ready To Welcome GM Employees

MMAC files suit against sick leave mandate: Calling it “a fight we cannot afford to sit out,” the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) on Monday filed a legal challenge to the city of Milwaukee’s paid sick leave mandate. As part of this lawsuit, MMAC also will request that the court enter a temporary injunction blocking the city from enforcing the mandate while the court considers its validity. If this injunction is not granted, employers will need to begin implementation of the new mandate on Feb. 10, 2009.

Oshkosh defense unit gets $5 million order: Oshkosh Corp.’s defense arm has received a $5 million order to rebuild about 30 transporters for the U.S. Army. Under the contract modification, the 10-year-old vehicles will be torn down to the frames and built to like-new condition, the company said.

Wis. plant provides paper for Obama invitations : A Wisconsin paper maker will provide the stock used for official invitations to President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. Neenah Paper says it will provide Obama’s team with the “greenest premium paper in the world” for invitations to the Jan. 20 event. The invitations will be printed by Precision Continental in Brooklyn, New York.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Information technology field still among the leaders

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Madison stem cell researchers get $50,000 state grant

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Cardinal Stritch to open campus in Milwaukee

– Area businesses, residents get $13.4 million in flood loans

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Standard Electric opens new plant in Sheboygan

– Auto industry suppliers hammered by downturn

– Joy Global’s China unit completes purchase of Wuxi Shengda

LABOR (back to top)
– QPS survey: 54 percent of firms in hiring halt

– Survey: Layoffs leading to IT theft

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Schulers have shared their passion for folk music for more than three decades

– Snap-on Tools tops Franchise 500 ranking

INVESTING (back to top)
– Manpower Inc. withdraws 4Q guidance

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Farm Bureau Looks Back at Top Stories of 2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airport passenger counts lag behind 2007

RETAIL (back to top)
– Christmas tree sales stay strong

– Last-minute shoppers hunt for holiday deals

– KB Toys liquidation shifts gears

REGULATION (back to top)
– West Allis, South Milwaukee move to prevent mandatory sick pay

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Few vie for EPA grants

– Integrys names Schrock president, CEO

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Waukesha County’s nursing homes part of national ranking

– Madison named healthiest city for men

– S&P lowers MGIC financial strength rating

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– WPS president Schrock picked to lead Integrys

– Ex-National Presto chief dies

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
–YAHOO FINANCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/
–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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