LG Electronics unveiled its new million-square-foot washing machine facility in Clarksville, Tennessee, on May 29, 2019. / Photo by Josh Vaughn, courtesy of LG-One

LG to add 334 jobs at Tennessee plant

LG Electronics USA announced Wednesday it will increase production at its Clarksville, Tennessee, plant by investing another $20.5 million in the facility and adding 334 jobs.

The world-leading home appliance manufacturer said the addition is needed to meet the unprecedented U.S. demand for its washing machines. The job addition will expand LG's Tennessee staff to more than 1,000.

LG announced in early 2017 that Montgomery County would be home to its first washing machine manufacturing operation in the United States. Completed in 2018, the 1 million-square-foot facility is believed to be the world's most advanced integrated washing machine plant.

"American consumers love LG washers from Tennessee, as seen by in the double-digit percentage growth in sales over the past year," said Thomas Yoon, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America. "The production expansion in Clarksville will help us meet the unprecedented demand for our top-rated washing machines across the country."


Sequoyah Unit 1 begins refueling

The Tennessee Valley Authority began refueling the oldest reactor at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy over the weekend after the reactor generated more than 13.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 494 days of operation.

"This scheduled outage allows us to complete necessary work to ensure we continue delivering reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity to the people and businesses we serve," said Tom Marshall, TVA Sequoyah site vice president. "The team will load 85 new nuclear fuel assemblies and perform key maintenance activities that can only be safely completed with the unit offline."

Over 10,000 work activities are planned during the refueling outage, including loading new fuel assemblies, performing inspections of reactor components, maintenance of plant equipment and installing unit enhancements.

Sequoyah Unit 1 is one of seven operational TVA nuclear reactors across the Valley.


Fed defends policy on climate change

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday defended the central bank's increasing scrutiny of the impact climate change could have on banks, in the wake of criticism by Republican members of Congress that by doing so the Fed is overstepping its mandate.

The Fed has taken several steps in the past year to incorporate the risks posed by climate change into its oversight of the financial system. A key part of the Fed's job, in addition to setting short-term interest rates to either stimulate or slow the economy, is regulating banks.


Business push back against voting rules

A pushback against new voting bills and laws in numerous states is gaining momentum.

Dozens of nation's largest corporations and business leaders have signed a new statement objecting to "any discriminatory legislation." Signatories to the letter published Wednesday in The New York Times and The Washington Post include Amazon, American Airlines, Bank of America, Google and Best Buy. Also signing were hundreds of business and civic leaders, such as Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg.

More than 350 different voting bills are under consideration in dozens of states. On Tuesday, Arkansas was among the latest to approve changes to its election laws, including restrictions on outside polling places and on absentee ballots.


McDonald's to mandate anti-harassment training

McDonald's will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting next year.

McDonald's has 2 million workers at 39,000 restaurants worldwide. The change is part of a larger reckoning over sexual harassment at the world's largest burger chain.

At least 50 workers have filed charges against the company over the last five years, alleging physical and verbal harassment and, in some cases, retaliation when they complained. McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski says the company needs to set clearer expectations and make sure its workers feel safe and respected.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner