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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Smucker Cutting 700 Jobs, Closing Four Plants

March 24, 2010 8:50 am

ORRVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The J.M. Smucker Co. is closing four plants and cutting 700 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, the food maker said Wednesday. The company, which makes Folgers Coffee, Smucker's jams and other products, said it is closing its fruit-spread plants in Memphis, Tenn.

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Australia, China Sign Agreement With Rio Tinto Case In Limbo

March 24, 2010 4:50 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Australia and China signed a multibillion dollar energy deal Wednesday, pushing ahead with business as the trial of four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto ended in Shanghai with a verdict still to be announced. The latest deal suggests that Australia and China's commercial ties have been largely unaffected by tensions over the detention and trial of Australian citizen Stern Hu — who was head of Rio Tinto's iron ore business in China — and three Chinese co-workers on charges of taking bribes and stealing business secrets.

Daimler To Pay $185 Million To Settle Bribery Investigations

March 24, 2010 4:45 am | by Pete Yost, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Car manufacturer Daimler AG will pay $185 million to settle criminal and civil investigations in which the company is accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to officials of at least 22 foreign governments over the course of a decade, two people familiar with the deal said Tuesday.

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NYC Crane Inspector Took Bribes, Faked Inspections

March 24, 2010 4:38 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The city's former chief crane inspector admitted taking more than $10,000 in payoffs to fake inspection and crane operator licensing exam results, selling out a 26-year career bit by bit over nearly a decade. James Delayo showed no emotion Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to receiving bribes and read a short statement in court acknowledging his crimes in a case that helped raise questions about the city's oversight of construction and spurred changes designed to keep a tighter rein on cranes.

Fiat Puts 5,000 Italians Out Of Work

March 24, 2010 4:27 am

ROME (AP) — Fiat will cut 5,000 jobs in Italy, slash the number of car models and increase production as part of its new strategic plan, a newspaper reported Wednesday. La Repubblica said the cuts would affect about 15 percent of the 30,000 assembly line workers at Fiat. They would include between 2,000 and 2,500 workers at the historic Mirafiori plant in Turin and some 1,500 employee at the Termini Imerese plant in Sicily, which will stop auto production next year.

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BAE Systems Cutting 200 Jobs At Tenn. Plant

March 24, 2010 4:21 am

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Body armor manufacturer BAE Systems is laying off about 200 employees at its East Tennessee plant because of a sluggish economy and the failure to win an anticipated contract. WBIR reported that the layoffs will leave about 120 employees on the job. The company cut 74 jobs at theplant in February.

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GM Creates 'Envy' With New Electric Concept Car

March 24, 2010 4:20 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — It's not quite as foldable as the space vehicle that cartoon figure George Jetson pops into his briefcase as he bops into the office. But the EN-V concept car, GM's "automobile solution" for the future, just might fit into an apartment foyer. General Motors and its Chinese partner SAIC will showcase the "Electric Networked-Vehicle" launched Wednesday in their joint pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which opens May 1 and runs for six months.

China's Geely Close To Volvo Acquisition

March 23, 2010 5:10 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — Zhejiang Geely Holding Group expects to wrap up talks on buying Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo car unit by the end of this month, a spokesman for the Chinese automaker said Tuesday. "I cannot tell the exact date, but so far everything goes smoothly, and I think the contract will be signed in March," said Ren Daqing, a spokesman for Geely in Beijing.

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Hugo Boss Plant Closure Spurs Hollywood Boycott

March 23, 2010 4:55 am

CLEVELAND (AP) — Danny Glover is meeting in Cleveland with workers at a men's suit plant whose plight became the actor's cause during the recent Academy Awards. The star of the "Lethal Weapon" movies joined with a union in urging Hollywood not to wear Hugo Boss suits to the Oscars earlier this month, to show support for the factory's 375 employees.

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PA Chemical Plant Leaks... Again

March 23, 2010 4:47 am

JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says a chemical leak at a Marathon Petroleum Co. tank station south of Pittsburgh was the second in a month at the facility. In Monday's incident, about 4,000 gallons of an oil-based asphalt emulsion leaked from a tank at the company's Floreffe tank farm in Jefferson Hills.

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Mitsubishi To Triple Electric Car Output

March 23, 2010 4:35 am

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Tuesday it aims to more than triple annual production of its electric car — the i-MiEV — over the next three years, anticipating robust global demand for the zero-emission vehicle. Mitsubishi will make some 9,000 i-MiEVs in the upcoming fiscal year starting April 1, some 18,000 in the following year and 30,000 in the fiscal year starting April 2012, said company spokesman Yuki Murata.

New CA Jobs Bill Favors Green Manufacturing

March 23, 2010 4:29 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger two jobs-related bills that would extend a $10,000 homebuyer's tax credit through the end of the year and give a tax break to the green-technology industry. The Senate and Assembly passed the bills with bipartisan support in hopes of promoting housing construction and making California more inviting to businesses involved in developing alternative energy.

NY Police Agree Driver Error Caused Prius Crash

March 23, 2010 4:24 am

HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) — A housekeeper who reported that her boss' Toyota Prius accelerated on its own and wouldn't brake as she hurtled toward a stone wall apparently had her foot on the gas pedal the entire time, according to a police investigation that concluded the driver, not the car, caused the accident.

33 Plaintiffs Dismissed In 'Popcorn Lung' Suits

March 22, 2010 5:03 am

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Eleven plaintiffs remain in a round of lawsuits against a microwave popcorn packaging plant in Jasper. Originally, 44 plaintiffs were part of lawsuits filed in 2006 against the makers of butter flavorings used at the Jasper Popcorn Co. plant, which has operated as Gilster Mary Lee Corp.

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Auto Supplier Exec Dies, Evades Criminal Charges

March 22, 2010 4:56 am

PHOENIX (AP) — The death of a former top executive at CSK Auto Corp. means federal prosecutors won't be able to prove criminal charges that he manipulated earnings reports at the auto parts supplier. Prosecutors filed federal court documents earlier this month that notified the court of the death of former CSK president Martin G.

Rio Tinto Case Underscores 'Worsening Environment' In China

March 22, 2010 4:48 am

SHANGHAI, China — An Australian executive and three Chinese officials with mining giant Rio Tinto pleaded guility to accepting bribes in a Shanghai court, lawyers said Monday in a case that has strained relations between the countries. The lawyers said Stern Hu and the three Chinese nationals — Liu Caikui, Ge Minqiang and Wang Yong — pleaded guilty but disputed the amounts they are alleged to have accepted.

GM Recalls 60,000 Vehicles In S. Korea

March 22, 2010 4:33 am

SEOUL, South Korea — General Motors is recalling nearly 60,000 automobiles in South Korea due to potential problems with steering wheels, fuel hoses and seats, the company's local unit and the government said Sunday. The recall of 58,696 vehicles will begin Monday and cover four models manufactured in South Korea, said Kim Byeong-soo, a spokesman for GM Daewoo Auto&Technology Co.

Shareholders Sue Toyota For Drop In Stock Prices

March 22, 2010 4:16 am

MIAMI (AP) — Toyota shareholders incensed over a sudden drop in the Japanese automaker's stock price are heading to court with lawsuits claiming company executives deliberately misled investors and the public about the depth of accelerator problems in millions of its vehicles. At least three proposed class-action lawsuits filed by Toyota investors say the company gave false initial assurances that the sudden acceleration problem was a simple matter of floor mats trapping gas pedals, helping prop up the stock price.

PepsiCo To Slash Sugar, Salt, Fat

March 22, 2010 4:03 am

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. plans to cut the sodium found in each serving of its key brands by one-fourth in five years. The maker of Frito-Lay chips and Pepsi drinks announced several nutrition goals on Monday at the start of a two-day investor conference. The company also set two goals for the next 10 years: to cut the average added sugar per serving by 25 percent and saturated fat per serving by 15 percent.

Company Dividends A Factor In Death Of Golden Flake Heir?

March 19, 2010 4:53 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An angry letter and a bag of Golden Flake chips were taped inside Major Bashinsky's abandoned car when it was found near downtown Birmingham. Days later the snack food heir's body was fished out of a public golf course pond a few miles away, and now police are trying to find out if the chips that made his family wealthy had anything to do with his death.

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