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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chrysler, UAW Talks Officially Begin

July 25, 2011 9:19 am | News | Comments

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — To help American carmakers stay in business, autoworkers grudgingly gave up pay raises and some benefits four years ago. Now that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are making money again, workers want compensation for their sacrifice. Just how much they get is the central question hanging over contract talks that start this week between Detroit and one of the largest and most powerful U.

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UAW Wants Bigger Cut Of Detroit's Growing Profits

July 25, 2011 5:30 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union wants a bigger share of Detroit's newfound profits while the car companies hope to cut labor costs in contract talks that begin Monday. Workers agreed to give up pay raises and benefits to keep the companies in business as they headed for financial trouble starting four years ago.

Gulf Drilling Could Add 230,000 Jobs

July 25, 2011 5:28 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — An energy research group predicted that an increase in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico could create 230,000 jobs and add $44 billion to the U.S. economy next year. IHS on Thursday said that the U.S. would produce more jobs, more tax revenue and another 411,000 barrels of oil per day if the industry was allowed to operate at full speed in the Gulf.

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Driver Injured At Rolled Metal Plant Blast

July 25, 2011 5:26 am | News | Comments

FARRELL, Pa. (AP) — The driver of a tanker truck was burned and another worker was treated for cuts after an explosion at a rolled metal plant in western Pennsylvania. An official with Duferco Farrell Corp. has confirmed the injuries for The Associated Press, but says another official will release more information later in the day.

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Honda Recalls 50,000 Vehicles

July 25, 2011 5:25 am | News | Comments

TOKYO, July 25 (Kyodo) — Honda Motor Co. said Monday it will recall a combined 50,122 units in the Stream minivan, the Civic sedan and the Crossroad sport utility vehicle to repair their bolts that fix the water pump pulley to the engine, free of charge. In a report filed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Honda said the engines of the vehicles, made between July 2008 and July 2010, may stall due to the defect.

Japan Automakers On Mend After Disaster

July 25, 2011 5:23 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's automakers reported mixed vehicle production figures Monday as the industry works toward recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Some, such as Nissan, are doing considerably better than others. Nissan Motor Co. made 419,831 vehicles worldwide in June, up 18.

U.S. Union Tests IKEA's Global Image

July 25, 2011 5:19 am | by Steve Szkotak, Associated Press | News | Comments

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — The union attempting to represent workers at IKEA's only U.S. plant is challenging the Swedish furniture giant's vaunted corporate ethos, accusing the retailer of paying its American workers low wages and tolerating unsafe working conditions. Approximately 320 workers at IKEA's Swedwood Danville plant will vote Wednesday whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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Munich Scientists Set To Electrify Frankfurt Auto Show

July 22, 2011 7:29 am | Videos | Comments

Scientists from Munich's Technical University will be joining the world's major car manufacturers at the Frankfurt Auto Show later this year, with an electric vehicle they have designed and built themselves. Called the ''Mute,'' the vehicle is more than just a novelty. The scientists want to bring it to market in five years.

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Nissan Will Build Leaf Motors In TN

July 22, 2011 7:16 am | by Bill Poovey, Associated Press | News | Comments

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) — Nissan will build motors for the electric Leaf at its engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee, starting in early 2013 as the automaker expands production. The plant will be able to make up to 150,000 electric motors a year. It currently makes engines and components for Nissan vehicles built in North America, and also houses engine casting and forging operations.

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Stinger Gets $17M To Complete Plant

July 22, 2011 7:14 am | News | Comments

LIBBY, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Community Development Corporation has announced $17 million in financing to allow Stinger Welding to complete a fabrication plant that will bring at least 100 more jobs to Libby. Stinger Welding, a fabricator of steel bridge components, has 43 employees in Libby.

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Copper Falls On Signs Of Manufacturing Slowdown

July 22, 2011 7:12 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Copper prices are falling on more signs of a manufacturing slowdown in China and Europe. Copper for September delivery fell 5.25 cents to settle at $4.3835 a pound, its second day of losses. Other commodities were mixed as investors monitored debt negotiations in Europe and the United States.

Unemployment In Il Continues To Rise

July 22, 2011 7:10 am | by David Mercer, Associated Press | News | Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' unemployment rate edged up again in June, but the experts say that likely means something you already knew: The economic recovery isn't going nearly as fast as the state needs it to. Statewide unemployment rose to 9.2 percent in June, up from 8.

OH Voters Will Decide Fate Of Union Law

July 22, 2011 7:08 am | by Ann Sanner, Associated Press | News | Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio voters will get to decide in November whether to repeal the state's new collective bargaining law, which would let public worker unions negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. The state's elections chief said Thursday that opponents had gathered enough valid signatures to put the question before voters.

NASA Is Outsourcing Future Spaceflight

July 22, 2011 7:06 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — How America gets people and stuff into orbit is about to be outsourced in an out-of-this-world way. With the space shuttle's retirement Thursday, no longer will flying people and cargo up to the International Space Station be a government program where costs balloon.

The Sound Of Science

July 22, 2011 6:44 am | by Anna Wells | Blogs | Comments

It sounds like something out of the future, but when George Lord alludes to “The Scientific Factory,” he doesn’t mean some sterile Orwellian assembly line. That said, there is nothing old-fashioned about ABB’s New Berlin, WI-based facility either. It is something in between, a solution to what Lord, managing director of ABB’s U.

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Six Common Questions Related To ERP Software

July 22, 2011 6:03 am | by Dylan Persaud, Eval-Source | Articles | Comments

The good folks over at Eval-Source, a provider of  professional services and products for enterprise software evaluation, system benchmarking, software investment evaluation, and procurement automation outsourcing, have offered their thoughts on six common questions related to enterprise software.

Worker At KY Plant Injured In Chemical Spill

July 22, 2011 5:43 am | News | Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A worker at a Louisville plant has been injured in a chemical spill. Lake Dreamland Fire Department Chief John Wilkinson says three employees came in contact with toluene at the American Synthetic Rubber Company and one was taken to the hospital because it got into his eye.

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MI Unemployment Up Again

July 22, 2011 5:33 am | News | Comments

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's unemployment rate rose again in June, this time to 10.5 percent, its highest rate since January. The seasonally adjusted figures released Wednesday by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget show an increase of 0.2 percentage points since May.

Bill Would Prevent NLRB From Closing Plants

July 22, 2011 5:31 am | News | Comments

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina U.S. Rep. Tim Scott has introduced legislation in Congress to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from closing down plants or ordering companies to transfer employment. Scott's measure comes in light of the NLRB suit against Boeing, which last month opened its $750 million assembly plant in North Charleston.

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Ex-Yarnell Worker Sues Over Company's Closing

July 22, 2011 5:29 am | News | Comments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former worker is seeking class status for a lawsuit against Yarnell's Ice Cream, claiming the Searcy company didn't give workers the required 60-day notice that the plant would close. The family-owned company, in business for more than 75 years, abruptly closed its doors on June 30, saying it couldn't get financing to continue operating.

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