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Area businesses close plants in Mexico

Sat., May 2, 2009

Two Spokane-area manufacturers are temporarily closing Mexico plants as that country struggles to contain further outbreaks of swine flu.

Liberty Lake’s Telect Inc. closed its plant in Guadalajara Friday and will keep it closed through Tuesday to comply with a request made by the Mexican government. Mexican President Felipe Calderón in a TV speech this week urged nonessential private businesses to stay closed until Wednesday.

All Mexican businesses were expected to close Friday for Primero de Mayo, or International Labor Day.

The San Luis Potosi manufacturing site run by Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Labs also will close Monday and Tuesday.

A third area company, Key Tronic Corp., said it closed Friday but would resume work Monday. It operates sites in Juarez and Reynoso, cities near the U.S. border. The company’s Juarez factory has roughly 1,600 workers, Chief Financial Officer Ron Klawitter said.

Juarez is in the state of Chihuahua, which had no reported occurrences of the disease, Klawitter said.

Tom Sowa

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