Koch Knight Celebrates 100 Years of Manufacturing

first_imgKoch Knight, LLC, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ceramic mass transfer and acid proof equipment, is marking its 100th anniversary this month. “Today, our corrosion-proof products, many with their roots in 1910, are used throughout the chemical industry,” said Michael R. Graeff, president of Koch Knight. “We are excited about reaching this milestone and are dedicated to continuing to grow our business and developing new customer relationships. Koch Knight has sold products in 40-plus countries and has booked our largest order in history in 2010.”In the early 1900s, the Maurice A. Knight Company began producing KNIGHT-WAREr Ceramic in Akron, Ohio.“Until Mr. Knight bought a local pottery and began producing ceramics, the only place the American chemical industry could find chemical ceramics that would meet their needs was in Europe,” Graeff said. “The Knight-Ware product was made with vitreous ceramic, which did not depend upon a glaze for acid resistance, and had the strength to be formed into large pieces.”Assets of the Maurice A. Knight Company were acquired by subsidiaries of Koch Industries, Inc. in 1981.“Koch Knight has been an important part of the North East Ohio business community for the past 100 years,” said Dennis P. Saunier, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud that the company calls Canton, Ohio, home and congratulates the entire workforce on their success. The company’s longevity is a testament to the outstanding workforce, the quality of its products and superb customer service. ”Koch Knight markets ceramic products as well as industry-leading components for wastewater treatment plants and thermal oxidation systems, including selling into the hydrometallurgical business. Customers include those in the mining, chemical processing and environmental industries.“Our customers include those who are working to improve their own environmental performance,” Graeff said. “Koch Knight products allow plants to burn volatile organic chemicals at the end of their processes to reduce emissions.”“Koch Knight has expanded its local operations over the past decade to include additional manufacturing capacity and capability in East Canton,” Graeff said.In addition to the 72-person local workforce, Koch Knight has sales offices in Australia and Brazil. The company also has a fabrication shop in Baytown, Texas.Employees and invited guests will celebrate the centennial of Knight-Ware this week.last_img read more

Man shot in heated argument over Kants philosophy

first_imgAN ARGUMENT OVER the philosophy of Immanuel Kant ended abruptly in Russia when one debater shot the other.Two men in their 20s were discussing the ideas of Kant – author of Critique of Pure Reason – when the discussion became heated, police said.First punches were thrown, and then one man pulled out what reports describe as a “nonlethal pistol” and fired several shots at his philosophical enemy.The victim was hospitalised with injuries that were not life-threatening. Neither person was identified.The men were queuing to buy beer at a shop in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, at the time.It was not clear which of Kant’s ideas may have triggered the violence.Tiger playing with dogs is simultaneously kind of lovely and absolutely terrifying>What happens when our favourite bands and foods collide?>last_img read more

Column Croke Park 2 is a watershed moment in the Irish trade

first_imgMOST PEOPLE JOIN trade unions to better their wages and working conditions. Few expect to be told to make sacrifices to restore the confidence of financial markets. Yet, this is precisely what the SIPTU and IMPACT union leaderships are doing with Croke Park 2.The proposal is to take another €1 billion from public sector employees in the next three years. That comes on top of pay cuts that already took 15 per cent their earnings.There is a sweet irony in all this. Hiking taxes and cutting pay in the midst of a recession dampens spending and prolongs an economic slow-down. The government was warned about this but continued regardless. National debt levels then rose and so they needed more money to ‘plug the hole’. The treadmill of austerity is becoming endless.The original Croke Park deal was not supposed to expire until 2014. But in an unprecedented move, the government is tearing it up so that it can take more. Promises that there would be no further pay cuts have been thrown aside like old electoral manifestos.Broken agreementsUnfortunately, this is not the first time an agreement was broken. A commitment to give workers under €35,000 some of the savings earned during Croke Park 1 was ignored. The union leaders complied in silence and this sign of weakness encouraged the government to come back for more.Croke Park 2 proposes to increase working hours so that the numbers of public servants can be further reduced – many of whom are working below 39 hours will see a significant increase in their working week. Those on 39 or more hours will have to give a one free hour of overtime. A longer working week means extra child care costs. A free hour of overtime means an effective pay cut for poorly paid workers who rely on it to boost earnings.Longer hours for nurses means a huge reversal in their long, hard-fought campaign to reduce their working week. It is unusual, to say the least, for a union leadership to recommend something like this, but it is incredible to do so as a way of reducing public employment during a recession.Croke Park 2 also involves significant attacks on earnings. Those who receive over €65,000 – and this includes allowances – will receive a direct cut of 5.5 per cent. Some will lose, through a cut, the Sunday premiums to time and three quarters; others will lose through a reduced overtime rate of time and a quarter; most white collar employees will lose through a three-month or six-month freeze on increments.‘Be smart and work for less’More generally, Croke Park 2 imposes a pay freeze until 2016 and, by then, workers will have spent seven years without a pay rise. Inflation is currently running at 2 percent and bills for property taxes are arriving. Later, there will be water charges and a new communications charge. ‘Be smart and work for less’ appears to be the only survival tip.Croke Park 2 also contains other bizarre points that will bring out the worst in macho managers. Forcible re-deployment up to 45 kilometres – and on occasion, longer – will be possible. Flexi time and work-sharing will be more limited and at a management’s discretion. Performance targets can be laid down for individuals and sackings can follow for those who don’t meet them. Those on the top of their pay scale can be told to give up an extra two days holidays a year.All of this amount to a serious reversal of rights won by trade unions over decades. This may explain the extraordinary underhanded games of divide and rule which some unions are playing.Exclusions from the talksThe Irish Times has revealed a confidential letter sent to fire-fighters which suggested that the ‘totality of their pay structure would be protected’. SIPTU claimed they got this because they stayed at the negotiating table but, in reality, it was a desperate move to stem the haemorrhage of members to the breakaway Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association. But it begged the question: if there is a back channel to do deals for some, why are others excluded? Why should paramedics who arrive at the scene of an accident not also have the ‘totality of their pay’ protected?When union leaders connive at these divisive manoeuvres, it brings into question their wider role. If the CEO of a major firm told shareholders that there would be no dividend payments for seven years and they would have to contribute more, they would be politely but firmly asked to step aside. Why then should union leaders who repeatedly fail to deliver for members stay in office for life?Many of the top echelons of the Irish union movement are members of the Labour Party. Indeed, it is well known that advancement in unions like SIPTU may be closely co-related to membership of that party. There is a conflict of interests here. One can either serve the Labour Party and its needs in government or one can serve the wider union membership – it is not possible at the moment to do both.Rejection likely – then what?Croke Park 2 is a watershed moment in the Irish trade union movement. Not only is rejection increasingly likely but the position of those who tried to sell it is coming under question. Many are already asking how do we change our leaders or our unions. They are finding that their freedom of association is restricted under ICTU anti-poaching rules and that the right of ordinary members to vote on the election of their leaders in unions has been removed.When Croke Park 2 is rejected, the unions will need to rapidly deal with these democratic deficits – or face a major period of internal turmoil.Kieran Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in University College Dublin. He is the author of Ireland’s Economic Crash (Dublin: Liffey Press 2009). He is also affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party and People Before Profit. To read more by Kieran Allen for TheJournal.ie click here.Read: Gardaí to show leniency at checkpoints under new work-to-rule measures>Column: Croke Park II underlines the need for a unilateral approach to public sector reform>last_img read more