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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

CAW Workers At GM-Suzuki Plant OK Contract

September 21, 2009 3:56 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of union workers at a Canadian auto plant jointly owned by General Motors and Suzuki have approved a new contract that would freeze wages and pensions, trim benefits, introduce a monthly health care contribution and reduce break times. However, the new contract at the CAMI Automotive Inc.


BMW Expects Production Increase Despite Economy

September 21, 2009 3:53 am

FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker BMW AG said it wants second half 2009 production levels to match levels of the second half of 2008, despite the dramatic sales declines experienced in the first half of this year. The Munich-based carmaker told German weekly Automobilwoche the company "wouldn't build fewer cars in the second half of 2009, compared to the year-ago period.

GM, Chrysler Demand Tax Breaks In Michigan

September 21, 2009 3:47 am

DETROIT (AP) — Governments and schools across Michigan are bracing for the possible loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC argue that they should pay less in property taxes. GM and Chrysler say their property taxes are inflated by more than 50 percent because local communities overestimate the value of their plants and buildings.


Fike Announces Free CA Combustible Dust Hazard Seminars

September 18, 2009 10:28 am

Blue Springs , MO — Fike, a leader in industrial and explosion protection safety solutions, is sponsoring two Explosion Protection Seminars: Concord, California on September 29, 2009; and Pomona, California on October 1, 2009. The primary focus of these educational seminars is the protection of facilities against potential combustible dust explosion hazards, and explosion mitigation techniques use to help provide a safe workplace.

Methane Explosion Kills 12 In Polish Mine

September 18, 2009 4:22 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A methane leak in a Polish coal mine set off an explosion that killed 12 miners on Friday, officials said. Edyta Tomaszewska, a spokeswoman for the state body that oversees Polish coal mining, said the explosion occurred 3,450 feet (1,050 meters) underground at the mine in the southwestern city of Ruda Slaska.

Opel To Funnel GM Technology To Russia

September 18, 2009 4:14 am | by Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Last week's deal for General Motors to give up control of its money-losing Opel unit has a big downside: If the deal goes through, Russian automaker GAZ will get its hands on GM technology. Worse yet, GAZ, with cars that are light years behind most global automakers in quality as well as engines, transmissions and other technology, is likely to use what it gets from GM to compete against the Detroit automaker's Chevrolet brand in Russia.

Coca-Cola, IBM Top List Of Trusted Brands

September 18, 2009 4:10 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Marketing Writer

Consumers lost trust in brands this year as the recession deepened, according to an industry report released Thursday, although longtime staples Coca-Cola and IBM retained their spots as the world's two most valuable brands. This is the first time the combined value of the world's top 100 brands as ranked by Interbrand, a branding agency, has fallen in the 10 years Interbrand has assessed them.

Canadian Abitibi Loses 1,500 In Streamlining

September 18, 2009 3:59 am

MONTREAL — AbitibiBowater announced Thursday that it will suspend production indefinitely at several Canadian and U.S. mills in a corporate streamlining that will affect about 1,500 Canadian workers. The cuts, which begin Oct. 31, reflect the insolvent newsprint giant's restructuring efforts under the bankruptcy protection laws in Canada and the United States.


LA Scoops Up $670,000 From Pfizer Fine

September 18, 2009 3:54 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A judge's approval of a settlement agreement between the state and Pfizer Inc. means Louisiana will receive more than $670,000 from the drug maker over alleged improper marketing of an antipsychotic drug. Louisiana was among the states that reached a $33 million settlement with Pfizer, the world's largest drug manufacturer.

Congress Approves Green Vehicle Funding

September 16, 2009 12:07 pm | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

September 16, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) — Targeting more federal money to support the auto industry, the House on Wednesday approved an expansion of U.S. government-led research into making cars and trucks more fuel-efficient. The House plan would allow the Energy Department to spend up to $200 million more each year on research and development for advanced-technology vehicles and auto parts.


Congress Considers $550m/Year Green Car Funding

September 16, 2009 5:00 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

September 16, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) — Targeting more funding for the auto industry, the House is considering an expansion into government-led research of fuel-efficient vehicle technology and making research dollars more available to auto parts suppliers. The House was expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that could allow the Energy Department to spend up to $550 million a year to conduct advanced technology vehicle and component part research and development.


Chrysler-Fiat Boldly Predict 6 Million Car Production

September 16, 2009 4:52 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer

September 16, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday that the new auto alliance can reach a production of 5.5 million to 6 million cars a year on its own once the economy and car markets stabilze. "We will arrive alone at 6 million units. Between us and Chrysler, we will get there," Marchionne said on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Illegally Dumped Chemicals Kill 3 In China

September 16, 2009 4:41 am

September 16, 2009 SHANGHAI (AP) -- Three people have died and an additional 17 required medical treatment after they were exposed to bags of a toxic chemical illegally dumped by a factory in eastern China, the local government said Wednesday. Four of the people sickened were children who played near the chemical, 2,4-dinitrophenol -- a poison used in scientific research and in manufacturing various chemicals, explosives and pesticides, according to a statement by the government in Dongyang, a city 250 kilometers (160 miles) southwest of Shanghai.

China's Industrial Growth Could Strangle Planet

September 16, 2009 4:30 am | by Henry Sanderson, Associated Press Writer

September 16, 2009 BEIJING (AP) — If China's economy continues to expand rapidly and rely heavily on coal and other fossil fuels until the middle of the century, its power demands could exceed what the entire planet can withstand, according to a study by government think tanks released Wednesday.

Current Account Deficit Slumps To $98.8b, Lowest In 18 Years

September 16, 2009 4:21 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

September 16, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit in the broadest measure of foreign trade shrank in the spring to the lowest level in relation to the total economy in 18 years, another dramatic sign of how much the recession had reduced America's appetite for foreign goods. The Commerce Department said Wednesday the deficit in the current account dropped to $98.

Return-To-Moon Program Gets Small Boost

September 16, 2009 4:10 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

September 16, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA's weakened return-to-the-moon program got a lift Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The head of a special expert panel conceded to Congress that the moon program could work if given enough money. That would mean another $3 billion a year for the program proposed by President George W.


Obama: His Administration 'Stopped Economic Free Fall'

September 15, 2009 11:11 am | by Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

September 15, 2009 PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Barack Obama told the AFL-CIO Tuesday his administration has "stopped our economic free fall" and is determined to seal a recovery while revitalizing America's middle class. Shoring up a key part of his political base, Obama told the labor federation's convention that the administration is a fierce supporter of workers' rights and defender of unions.


OR, MI Top List Of Best Solar Manufacturers

September 15, 2009 6:18 am

Despite a recession, manufacturing capacity for solar panels will rise at a rate of 45 percent each year, from 875 megawatts in 2008 to 3,880 megawatts in 2012, according to GTM Research's recently published report "PV Manufacturing in the United States: Market Outlook, Incentives and Supply Chain Opportunities (http://www.


U.S. Steel To Restart Minnesota Plant

September 15, 2009 5:07 am

September 15, 2009 KEEWATIN, Minn. (AP) -- Union officials at an idled northern Minnesota taconite plant say they've been told by U.S. Steel that production will start again soon. Steelworkers 2660 President Jack Thronson says he received a call Monday from Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel saying the company will bring workers back.


Safety Board Rejects Changes After Slim Jim Explosion Kills 3

September 15, 2009 4:56 am | by Mike Baker, Associated Press Writer

September 15, 2009 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal safety officials have rejected a series of urgent recommendations that investigators offered after an explosion at a Slim Jim factory in North Carolina killed three people. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that staff members of the U.



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