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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

China Raises Key Rate For 1st Time Since Crisis

October 19, 2010 5:09 am

BEIJING (AP) — China raised its key interest rate Tuesday for the first time since the global crisis as it tries to control inflation and rapid growth even as other Asian economies move to keep their recoveries on track. The rate hike, China's first since 2007, reflected Beijing's focus on guiding growth to a more sustainable level rather than reving up the economy after it expanded by 10.

Boeing Pares Benefits; Cites Health Care Legislation

October 19, 2010 4:59 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers. In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year.

FDA: Iowa Company's Eggs OK To Sell After Recall

October 19, 2010 4:41 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of two Iowa farms that recalled millions of eggs this summer will start shipping its products to stores again, but the second farm could be shut down if it doesn't clean up, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday. In an Oct. 15 letter to Hillandale Farms the FDA said the company has adequately cleaned up its facilities after it was linked to 1,600 salmonella illnesses earlier this year.

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Honda Reaches No-Waste With 8 North American Plants

October 19, 2010 4:33 am

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Monday that eight of its 14 North American plants are now sending no waste from manufacturing activities to landfills, and it expects none will be sending waste to landfills by next year. In its sixth annual North American environmental impact report, Honda said 90 percent of the parts in its new cars can be recycled.

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Plant Managers May Face Charges Over Death Of Pregnant Worker

October 19, 2010 4:29 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The owner and the manager of a San Francisco printing plant are facing charges in connection to the death of a pregnant worker who was crushed by a machine. The owner of Digital Pre-Press International, Sanjay Sakhuja, and manager Alick Yeung were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the January 2008 death of 26-year-old Margarita Mojica.

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BP To Link Bonuses To Safety Performance

October 19, 2010 4:24 am

LONDON (AP) — BP employees' performance on safety issues will be the only measure for awarding fourth-quarter bonuses, the British oil company said Tuesday as it tries to tighten performance and clean up its image after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In a statement sent to employees Monday, CEO Bob Dudley said the bonus policy was intended to reinforce the message that safety is the company's priority and to insure that "a low-probability, high-impact incident such as the Deepwater Horizon tragedy never happens again.

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GE To Invest $432M To Revamp Appliance Business

October 18, 2010 5:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — GE says it will spend $432 million to establish four U.S.-based refrigeration design and manufacturing plants that will be centers for the company's new energy efficient line of refrigerators and other appliances. General Electric Co. said Monday the move will also create 500 new jobs by 2014.

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Labor Unions Face "Enthusiasm Challenge"

October 18, 2010 5:06 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Aaron Jones has heard the frustrations as he goes door-to-door among union households — the economy remains poor; issues important to workers are stalled in Congress; Republicans seem more energized this election. Put mildly: "There is an enthusiasm challenge," said Jones, the leader of a five-person voter canvassing crew for a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union.

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Hitachi, Johnson Controls Tie Up In Auto Batteries

October 18, 2010 5:02 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese electronics company Hitachi is tying up with a U.S. battery-maker in developing and making batteries for green vehicles, both sides said Monday. The deal, signed last month with Johnson Controls Inc., based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, centers around lithium-ion batteries — already widely used in laptops and other gadgets but starting to take off in auto technology such as hybrids and electric vehicles.

NASCAR Switching To Ethanol Blend Fuel By 2011

October 18, 2010 4:53 am

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR will move from unleaded fuel to an ethanol blend in all three of its national series beginning next season. The switch to Sunoco Green E15 was announced Saturday by NASCAR chairman Brian France, who touted the switch as yet another step by the auto racing series toward environment friendly practices.

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Hawker Beechcraft Machinists Vote Against Contract

October 18, 2010 4:45 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Machinists at Hawker Beechcraft voted Saturday against a new seven-year contract that would have included a 10 percent pay cut and other concessions aimed at keeping the company from moving all its operations out of Kansas. Bob Wood, spokesman for the airplane maker's union, said 55 percent of the members rejected the contract.

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Baltimore Energy Plant Creates Jobs, Debate

October 18, 2010 4:32 am

BALTIMORE (AP) — Construction is ready to begin on a new waste-to-energy plant proposed for the site of a former Baltimore chemical plant. Energy Answers says it has received all key permits for development of the former FMC chemical plant site. FMC Corporation will continue to own the brownfield site and conduct monitoring and remediation.

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GM Recalls 300,000 Impalas For Seat Belt Failure

October 15, 2010 4:55 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling more than 300,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans because the seat belts may fail to restrain people in the front seats during a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that the front-seat belt webbing may not be secured properly to a lap belt anchor on the side of the seat near the doors.

GE Profits Drop 18 Percent On Low Equipment Sales

October 15, 2010 4:41 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Friday its third-quarter income fell 18 percent because of a loss from a Japanese division that it's selling. Lower equipment sales, reflecting a slowdown in the once red-hot U.S. manufacturing sector, also damped results. The industrial and financial giant, which makes everything from refrigerators to power plant equipment to jet engines, reported net income of $2.

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Honda To Expand Ohio Plant, Hire 100 Workers

October 15, 2010 4:41 am

RUSSELLS POINT, Ohio (AP) — Honda said Thursday it expects to create more than 100 jobs with the expansion of its western Ohio plant. Honda Transmission of America Manufacturing Inc. presented an area planning commission with plans for acquiring and rezoning 60 acres adjacent to its current plant near Russells Point.

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Wal-Mart Pulls Lead-Tainted Kid's Toys From Shelves

October 15, 2010 4:40 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — Walmart announced Thursday that it would remove from its shelves children's products that a consumer group said tested for high levels of lead. The Oakland, California-based Center for Environmental Health said this week that tests it commissioned on children's products sold at Target Corp.

Calif. Wholesaler Busted For Housing Illegal Workers

October 15, 2010 4:38 am

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The owner of a wholesale bakery that delivers to a federal courthouse, military bases, prisons and schools was charged with hiring illegal immigrants in a complaint that alleges more than half his workers were not authorized to be in the United States. Jesse Fadick, 65, and three employees who were in the United States illegally were charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens at S&S Bakery Inc.

Wall Street Jumps On Good Manufacturing, Google News

October 15, 2010 4:36 am | by Stephen Bernard, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures jumped Friday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank is ready to do more to stimulate the sluggish economy. Bernanke's comments were the latest confirmation of what is already widely expected: The central bank is about to ramp up its purchase of Treasury bonds to spark growth.

ThyssenKrupp To Expand Ind. Facility, Hire 160 Workers

October 13, 2010 4:47 am

TELL CITY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has joined business officials to announce the expansion of a steel foundry in Tell City that's expected to create up to 160 jobs by the end of 2012. A unit of the German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG said Tuesday it will invest $36.5 million in equipment to expand capacity at the 480,000 square-foot plant.

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Intel Sales Give Hope To Struggling PC Industry

October 13, 2010 4:45 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Investors were hoping for a sign from Intel Corp. that the bottom didn't fall out of the consumer personal computer market in the third quarter. The company showed Tuesday that the market held up reasonably well and should stay steady into the all-important holiday shopping season.

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