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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Steel Plant Shuts Down After Payment Dispute

December 12, 2011 4:32 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri steel fabricating plant offered state incentives earlier this year has shut down. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported ( ) that Bonnybrook Steel Forms laid off most of its 41 employees Oct. 3 and was to hold an auction for the factory's equipment Dec.


A Few Chinese Hacker Teams Do Most U.S. Data Theft

December 12, 2011 4:29 am | by Lolita Baldor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — As few as 12 different Chinese groups, largely backed or directed by the government there, do the bulk of the China-based cyberattacks stealing critical data from U.S. companies and government agencies, according to U.S. cybersecurity analysts and experts. The aggressive, but stealthy attacks, which steal billions of dollars in intellectual property and data, often carry distinct signatures allowing U.

Obama Says Jobless Rate Could Drop To 8 Percent

December 12, 2011 4:27 am | by Steve Peoples, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting a new bar for the nation's economy, President Barack Obama said the United States unemployment rate could fall to 8 percent before he faces re-election next November. The unemployment rate, currently at 8.6 percent, hasn't been at or below 8 percent since he took office in January 2009 amid a global economic crisis.


Nissan To Recall 42,000 Juke Cars

December 9, 2011 8:23 am

TOKYO, Dec. 8 (Kyodo) — Nissan Motor Co. will voluntarily recall 42,041 Juke compact cars because of possible engine and door problems, the transport ministry said Friday. The doors of the cars may not shut properly if water seeps in and becomes frozen, according to the ministry.

Japan-Based Firm To Build GA Tractor Factory

December 9, 2011 8:20 am

JEFFERSON, Ga. (AP) — State officials say a Japan-based firm will construct a new $73 million manufacturing facility in northeast Georgia, creating 200 new jobs. Gov. Nathan Deal said Kubota Corp. intends to build the plant in the Jackson County town of Jefferson. Kubota is Japan's largest maker of tractors and farm equipment, and has subsidiaries and affiliates across the globe.


Unemployment Applications Drop To 9-Month Low

December 9, 2011 8:18 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nine months, that latest evidence that the job market is improving. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000.

Ford To Resume Paying Dividend After 5 Year Hiatus

December 9, 2011 8:17 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will resume paying a dividend in March, more than five years after it halted payments because of financial problems. The company's board approved a quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share. It will be paid on March 1 to shareholders of record as of Jan.

Motorola Wins Patent War With Apple

December 9, 2011 8:14 am

BERLIN (AP) — A German court has ruled that Apple is infringing on one of Motorola's mobile data communication patents through its sales of iPhone and iPad devices. The Mannheim state court on Friday granted Motorola unspecified damages for the use of its technology since 2003 and an injunction against sales of Apple Inc.


Labor Board Drops Boeing Complaint

December 9, 2011 8:12 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board on Friday officially dropped its high-profile case challenging Boeing's decision to open a nonunion aircraft manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The board acted after the Machinists union approved a 4-year contract extension with Boeing earlier this week and agreed to withdraw its charge that the company violated federal labor laws.


Reuse Of Closed Auto Plants On The Rise

December 9, 2011 4:36 am | by Jeff Karoub, AP Business Writer

DETROIT (AP) — About half of all U.S. automotive plants that have closed since 1979 are being reused, and much of that activity has come during the recent hard times for the industry and real estate market, according to a report released Thursday. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based nonprofit Center for Automotive Research's report found that of the 267 assembly and parts plants closed during that period, 128 have found or are finding new life.


AL Leaders Have Second Thoughts On Immigration

December 9, 2011 4:32 am | by Phillip Rawls, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Republicans who pushed through the nation's toughest law against illegal immigrants are having second thoughts amid a backlash from big business, fueled by the embarrassing traffic stops of two foreign employees tied to the state's prized Honda and Mercedes plants.


KY Company Where Fire Occurred Had Been Fined

December 9, 2011 4:30 am

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — A western Kentucky plastics company that operates a plant where four people were injured in a flash fire had previously been fined $26,650 by state labor officials for safety violations deemed serious, Kentucky officials said Thursday. The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet released a series of citations issued to Polymer Partners LLC in Henderson between 2004 and 2008.


Locked Out OH Workers File Unfair Labor Charge

December 9, 2011 4:27 am | by John Seewer, Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Factory workers who have been locked out for over a week accused Cooper Tire of unfair labor practices, accusing the company of asking them to approve a contract without knowing how much money they would be making. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. locked out about 1,000 workers at its plant in Findlay on Nov.


FDA Finds Serious Problems In Cancer Drug Factory

December 9, 2011 4:25 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Federal inspectors say the contract manufacturer for Johnson & Johnson's cancer drug Doxil hasn't been maintaining equipment or promptly investigating defective product batches and other serious problems at its Bedford, Ohio, factory. The latest Food and Drug Administration inspection report details lax quality control, failure to follow standard procedures and even lack of follow-up about a container of urine found in the Ben Venue Laboratories Inc.


Ford To Recall Fusion, Milan Sedans To Fix Wheels

December 9, 2011 4:23 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 128,000 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans from the 2010 and 2011 model years because the wheels can fall off the cars. The recall affects only cars with 17-inch steel wheels built from April 1, 2009 through April 30, 2009, and from Dec.

Plan To Boost Jobs For Disabled Workers

December 8, 2011 4:54 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to use the power of government purchasing to help increase the number of disabled people in the workforce. A proposed Labor Department rule would require government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up at least 7 percent of their employees.

Exxon Mobil Predicts Surge In Hybrid Vehicles

December 8, 2011 4:52 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon expects to see more and more hybrids on the world's roads, with gas-sipping models like the Toyota Prius making up half of all vehicles by 2040. The largest publicly traded oil and gas company says in its annual energy outlook that the use of hybrids — vehicles that rely on both gas and electricity for power — and other efficiency gains will keep energy demand in check for the U.

Palladium Climbs On Auto Sales Expectations

December 8, 2011 4:50 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Palladium prices have hit the highest level in nearly three months on expectations that new car demand will continue to improve. Palladium for March delivery rose $14.55 to end Wednesday at $685.45 an ounce. The price has risen 20 percent in the last eight trading sessions but remains 14.

Ex-Sharon Steel Workers To Get Tiny Windfalls

December 8, 2011 4:48 am

SHARON, Pa. (AP) — About 1,600 former steelworkers or their surviving spouses are getting a tiny windfall — about $33 each —from a long-forgotten bank account belonging to a bankrupt western Pennsylvania steel company. The Sharon Herald reports Thursday about $500,000 was found in the former Sharon Steel Co.

Boeing Workers Approve 4-Year Contract Extension

December 8, 2011 4:46 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Applause and cheers rang out after Unionized Boeing Machinists voted overwhelmingly to approve a four-year contract extension — a deal that grants the company labor peace and likely ends a federal complaint that had become a hot topic for Republican presidential candidates.



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