Whistleblower claims ATK flares potentially unsafe; also: Pillsbury Doughboy returns in national ad campaign, and layoffs hit employees of Regis, Entegris

Alliant Techsystems is taking heat for selling battlefield flares that one whistleblower says could endanger the soldiers using them. The New York Times reports that a Utah employee is accusing the Eden Prairie-based company of skipping important safety tests to ensure the flares don’t go off if they are accidentally dropped. The 3-foot-long, 36-pound aluminum tubes burn at 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt steel, the newspaper reports.

The U.S. Justice Department has joined the lawsuit against ATK and that suggests the case is strong, one watchdog group tells the New York Times. ATK tells the newspaper it’s done nothing wrong and that no injuries have been reported from the flares. It also says the flares have been redesigned since the employee initially raised concerns about the product. The federal government is seeking to recover tens of millions it paid for the flares. A trial is set for 2010.

The Doughboy returns! General Mills is launching the first national advertising campaign for Pillsbury in years, the Associated Press reports. The Golden Valley-based company hopes stressed consumers will get warm fuzzies from the commercials. The campaign is titled “Home is calling.” One spot features wintery images of people clicking their heels only to be magically transported from work or school to a dinner table topped with a bowl of warm crescent rolls. All while the Pillsbury Doughboy smirks in the corner, of course.

Regis Corp. is making cuts at corporate headquarters. The hair-care company has laid off 150 employees, and about half of them were at the company’s headquarters in Edina, the Star Tribune reports. CEO Paul Finkelstein said Tuesday the layoffs were because the company is opening fewer stores, and many of the trimmed positions related to handling new store builds and acquisitions.

More layoffs: Entegris, a Chaska-based company that makes equipment for the semiconductor industry, is closing one of its two manufacturing plants in Chaska, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press report. Entegris is shipping the 200 jobs to a manufacturing facility in Malaysia, where it says the work can be done closer to its customers. It expects to save $8 million a year from the move, which is scheduled to take place in 2009.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Aaron Petty on 11/05/2008 - 11:54 pm.

    UUUMMMM Crescent Rolls! Bring on the snow.

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