BFS suspends operations at Venezuela plant
VALENCIA, Venezuela-Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana C.A. has suspended operations at its tire plant in Valencia until a dispute involving local labor union leaders can be resolved.
Company management said they expect the shutdown to be brief and have little impact on customers. Management said they suspended operations for safety reasons.
According to local news reports quoting a company statement, a group of people entered the plant Nov. 25 "arbitrarily and illegally" and riots ensued, leaving three people injured.
BFV makes passenger, light truck and medium truck tires at its 50-year-old plant in Valencia, where it employs more than 1,100.
In a prepared statement, the company said it is "committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment" for all its employees. "Unfortunately, the internal dispute between rival leaders of the labor union in Venezuela remains unresolved. This disagreement is related to union leadership issues and is not a dispute between the company and the union."
Last public meeting held on International Paper's TDF application
TICONDEROGA, N.Y.-The last public meeting was held Nov. 30 on International Paper's application for a permit to do a test burn of tire-derived fuel at its Ticonderoga paper plant. The New York Department of Environmental Protection has granted the company a draft permit for the TDF burn, and is gathering public comment until Dec. 9 to help determine whether to grant a final permit.
About 30 members of the public-only about one-tenth of the number attending the Nov. 9 meeting-showed up for the latest meeting, and the testimony contained nothing really new, according to an International Paper spokeswoman. Protesters from Vermont, led by Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, want the company to spend $10 million to $15 million for pollution control equipment the company insists may not be necessary.
After the comment period is over, the DEP will take an unspecified amount of time-probably 30 days or less-to consider the testimony. It then will send its recommendations to Region II of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has 45 days to consider the issue. International Paper should receive final word on the permit by February, the spokeswoman said.