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PrimeSource, Huttig end long court battle

PrimeSource claimed the Huttig-Grip business attempted to put an end to the Grip-Rite brand.

BY HBSDealer Staff

PrimeSource and Huttig have concluded their long court battle stemming from the formation of latter’s Huttig-Grip business division.

A stipulation for dismissal was reached in the U.S. District Court for the Norther District of Illinois Easter Division on July 3. The case originated in December 2016.

All of the claims, counterclaims, and defenses in the case have been dismissed with both companies reaching a confidential settlement, according to court documents obtained by HBSDealer.

PrimeSource took Huttig to court in 2016 following the creation of Huttig-Grip, which included the hiring of former PrimeSource CEOs Kenneth Fishbein, David Fishbein, Mona Zinman, and Robert Furio, who were also named defendants in the case.

In November 2016, St. Louis, Missouri-based Huttig Building Products formed a new division to expand its private label construction fastener and specialty building products line.

Fastener manufacturer PrimeSource, based in Irving, Texas, alleged that the four defendants’ actions violated non-use, non-disclosure, non-compete, and non-solicitation agreements each had with PrimeSource. The suit also alleged that the Huttig-Grip hires downloaded PrimeSource information onto external memory devices or stole information from the company by emailing or downloading to cloud servers to facilitate Huttig competing with PrimeSource.

Additionally, PrimeSource claimed that the defendants were attempting to destroy its Grip-Rite fastener brand and steal business.

Reached for comment, PrimeSource vice president and general counsel Jeffrey Harvey told HBSDealer that, “the terms of settlement are confidential, but an end to all litigation among all parties.”

Huttig Building Products could not be reached for comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GE Appliances invests in Alabama

BY HBSDealer Staff

GE Appliances, a Haier company, is investing $115 million to expand its Decatur Refrigerator Plant in Decatur, Ala. The company says the move will help it meet increasing demand for its top-freezer refrigerators.

The expansion of the Decatur Plant – GE Appliance’s highest volume refrigerator plant — is the most recent investment made by the business since becoming part of Haier, which bills itself as “the world’s largest appliance brand.”

In 2018, GE Appliances’ major investments have included: a $55 million expansion of a distribution center in Northern Georgia, announced June 14; the June 19 opening of a $45 million expansion and enhancement of a “smart” distribution center in Dallas, Texas; and a $10 million plant expansion in Selmer, Tennessee, in May.

Haier acquired GE Appliances 2 years ago.

“Our announcement today is great news for our business, the GE Appliances family in Decatur and the state of Alabama,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of GE Appliances. “Our $115 million investment in Decatur is a critical part of our plan to be the leading appliances business in the United States. We are already a huge part of the local Decatur community, and look forward to a continued partnership with Decatur and the entire state of Alabama for many years to come.”

The investment will significantly expand the plant and boost production capacity by 25 percent.

Part of the investment will be used to acquire new 3D scanning technology and other “smart” automation and sensor technology that will provide the operations team with real-time data visualization tools that help them make better and faster production decisions. These tools will provide the Decatur Plant with the flexibility to add future product innovations and build on its leadership in product quality.

. It manufactures both GE® and Hotpoint® brand products. Fostering a tradition of quality, excellence and quick response to customer needs, the Decatur Plant’s products are rated “number one in quality and dependability.”1 The investment provides the plant opportunities for continued growth for years to come.

The investment will add 255 new jobs to the plant, bringing the total number of full-time employees to nearly 1,300.

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This column could save your job

Or at least improve your relationships with your boss or your peers.

BY Joe Scarlett

When we are in trouble at work our natural tendency is to run for cover—stick our head in the sand—and hope it will all go away. While this approach might work to temporarily assuage the situation, the issue will likely linger.

Many years ago a mentor of mine taught me a great lesson: It’s when you are in trouble that you need to communicate the most. He coached that the best long-term resolutions are achieved by having a proactive, in-depth conversation—not running away from the issue.  Early in my career a friend passed along a rumor he heard that my boss was getting ready to fire me. I instinctively charged into my boss’s office and confronted him—not pleasant for either of us. He was frustrated with me and had begun to seek a replacement. After several long talks over the next few days we resolved the issues and reconstructed the relationship in a positive way.

This kind of thing happens all the time in the workplace. Let’s say you really screwed something up and the boss chewed you out, which was upsetting but certainly well deserved. You go home that evening, complain to your spouse, toss and turn all night, and wake up still upset.

My advice is to do a clear-headed analysis of the facts and then put it all down in writing. Study what happened and make an appointment to see the boss. If your boss is not in town and most of the conflict occurred via email culminating in one very harsh phone call at the end of the day—wait until you are calm to analyze and plan. Then book a face-to-face with the boss. If you can’t see the boss directly shoot for a FaceTime session. And if it has to be a phone call schedule enough time to talk it out properly.

Review the facts with your boss, outline a realistic plan to correct the current situation, explain your future actions to prevent a reoccurrence and offer an apology. In most cases this should be sufficient for resolution.

On another early-career occasion, I lost my cool with a peer over a relatively insignificant issue. It was during a period of significant company transition—everyone was uptight and working against tough deadlines. I was off base and knew it.

Two hours later, I swallowed my pride, walked into his office and apologized for my actions. Over time we rebuilt our relationship. Had I not been proactive, we may have been walking on eggshells for months to come.

Joe Scarlett

Handling peer conflicts is really no different than dealing with a boss. Take time to calm down and organize your thoughts. Then schedule a time for a genuine conversation. An apology, hopefully on both sides, plus a firm handshake will typically put the issue in the history bin.

It is essential to resolve significant workplace issues as quickly as you can. Simmering tensions may go away in the short term, but they tend to boil up over time. Be proactive in seeking resolution for all conflict.

Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Company. For more on leadership see joescarlett.com. Or write Joe at [email protected]

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