Kopin Corp. is ramping up hiring at its Westboro plant to meet demand from the military and camera manufacturers for teeny weeny display screens. Taunton-based Kopin makes the high-tech screens in rooms so clean you could eat off the floor. But why would you want to when you can buy an Olympus digital camera with a Kopin viewfinder? Kopin says it expects to hire 15 more people in Westboro, where consumer products are made, and shift military production to Taunton.
The far-flung workers of Iron Age Corp., people who just love to sell sturdy boots and slip-resistant shoes, took their anger over the Westboro company’s bankruptcy to court last week, telling a judge it didn’t seem fair that they were losing their jobs with no severance while two former managers piled up $75,000 each in consulting fees. If you’re starting to conjure up images of angry Spartans from “300” right now, you’re not far off. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joel Rosenthal let the consulting arrangements stand, but he told the Spartans — er, workers — that he sympathized. And this might not be the last skirmish. A lawyer for creditors said they are investigating what happened at the safety shoe retailer.
Ever notice how in the world of mergers and acquisitions, everybody seems to win? It’s hard to believe. Life usually seems more like an episode of “Ninja Warrior,” with all but the ebulliently muscular Japanese fisherman Makoto Nagano falling behind in a crushing obstacle course. Still, Electronic Recyclers Inc. of California said last week it had bought ElectroniCycle of Gardner, a computer recycling business, in an effort to expand nationally. A win! SMC Ltd. of Wisconsin said it bought Cycles Inc. of Sterling, a custom plastics injection molder, to expand. Another win! Valpey-Fisher Corp. of Hopkinton, a maker of frequency control devices, said it hired investment bankers to advise on “strategic alternatives.” A future win? We’ll see.
The Easter Bunny brought an early present to Evergreen Solar Inc. of Marlboro — a $316 million contract extension from SunEdison for solar power modules. The contract runs through 2011, at which time Evergreen Solar will be all grown up and no longer believe in the Easter Bunny. No kids, really, we were just joking! Everyone loves the Easter Bunny. The modules will be produced in Germany and Marlboro.
The National Labor Relations Board shook its finger at FedEx Corp. last week, alleging that the company’s home delivery business fired workers at a Northboro facility who were involved in union organizing in 2005 and 2006. The NLRB alleged FedEx pressured other workers. The union in question: Teamsters Local 170 from Worcester. Ahem. Has anyone informed FedEx that the Teamsters have their own tractor-trailer truck for actions that absolutely positively have to get there overnight? Well, now we have.
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