A Chicago labor group held a news conference Monday afternoon to speak out about unsafe working conditions at Rochelle's Nippon Sharyo plant. The Chicago Federation of Labor and the group Jobs to Move America point to two recent complaints filed with OSHA.
Picture a town that can attract jobs, but not residents. That’s the case for Rochelle, which is in the middle of an industrial boom. But local leaders say they need to address stagnant population growth.
Nippon Sharyo will add to its existing rail car factory with a $54 million facility for metal fabrication and machining work on rail cars. Outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined Japanese dignitaries for the groundbreaking Tuesday. LaHood credited Quinn for the partnership with the Japanese company:
It’s official. A railcar maker in Rochelle will build 130 high speed rail cars for the Midwest and California. Governor Pat Quinn and U-S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the $352-million contract Monday at Nippon Sharyo’s factory in Rochelle.
Rochelle-based Nippon Sharyo has been named the intended recipient of a $352 million contract to build 130 bi-level passenger railcars to accommodate high-speed rail expansion in Illinois and two other Midwest states as well as California.