Thursday, July 14, 2011


Wells Fargo Stagecoach - Parada del Sol - Scot...Image by Al_HikesAZ via Flickr
Wells Fargo cuts 80 short-term workers

Officials at Wells Fargo on Wednesday told 80 short-term employees hired last fall that they will be laid off.

The workers, all of them located at the company's Bell Avenue office, were hired to help process loan applications, then they were shifted to a different mortgage servicing assignment in February.

They will continue to work and receive regular pay and benefits for 60 days and will be able to apply for other positions in Wells Fargo, a company spokesman said.

This is the third round of short-term employee layoffs in 2011 for the San Francisco bank, which employs about 13,000 people in metro Des Moines and has its mortgage headquarters in West Des Moines.

Fort Dodge plant closing set for 2014
The closing of a Fort Dodge plant in 2014 will eliminate nearly 100 jobs, though many of those employees could still find work within the company.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica spokeswoman Cory Sullivan says officials recently decided to gradually remove production from the plant after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer opted to shift work away from the facility.

Sullivan said about 90 percent of the work done at the plant is manufacturing Pfizer products.

The company is preparing to expand its research capabilities at its main Fort Dodge facility. The Messenger newspaper in Fort Dodge says that expansion will yield nearly 60 new jobs.

Sullivan said the company hopes the majority of the laid-off workers can transfer to another facility

Iowa firm penalized for wastewater violations
Attorney General Tom Miller says a judge has penalized a northwest Iowa pharmaceutical company $20,000 for wastewater violations at a storage lagoon in rural Sioux County.

Miller sued Sioux Pharm Inc. of Sioux Center in 2009, claiming it illegally discharged wastewater into surface and groundwater. The company makes a nutritional supplement from animal cartilage that is used to alleviate pain.

Miller said in a consent decree filed on Monday that Sioux County Judge Edward Jacobson ordered the company to permanently close the lagoon by removing the contents and leveling the site by Friday. The company has already closed the site and agreed not to apply the wastewater any longer.

A telephone call on Wednesday to the company's attorney, Lloyd Bierma of Sioux Center, was not immediately returned.

Yum reports 10 percent growth in earning
Yum Brands Inc., owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC fast-food chains, said Wednesday that strong sales overseas served up 10 percent growth in its second-quarter profit, even though its U.S. business continued to struggle.

Yum's sales in China rose fast, and its profit there soared. But the company reported across-the-board declines in the U.S., including a 5 percent drop in revenue at Taco Bell restaurants open at least a year

That chain, which accounts for about 60 percent of Yum's U.S. profit, is struggling to overcome publicity from a dropped lawsuit that claimed the filling in its tacos and burritos didn't contain enough beef to be called that. Taco Bell called the accusations false.

On Wednesday, Yum said it expects things to get better in the U.S. by the fourth quarter, which begins in September.

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