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USA: Springboro battery manufacturer to temporarily lay off 77

Springboro-based 
firm will begin the process this month.

A Springboro battery manufacturer is laying off 77 employees for six months, leaving it with about 27 remaining hourly workers, a union leader said Wednesday.

Ovonic Energy Products Inc. is laying off the employees because the company is retooling its production line from nickel metal hydride batteries to lithium batteries for electric-hybrid automobiles, said James Winship, president of the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communication Workers of America Local 755, which represents Ovonic workers.

The company told Ohio government last year that these layoffs would begin in March 2012.

“They’re laying off a huge chunk of their work force,” Winship said Wednesday. “They’re doing that re-tooling over there.”

Matt Jonas, vice president, manufacturing for Cobasys LLC, could not be immediately reached for comment Monday evening. Ovonic is a division of Orion, Mich.-based Cobasys.

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