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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Flash Fire At KY Plastics Factory Injures 4

December 8, 2011 4:43 am

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — Four people were injured Wednesday in western Kentucky in a flash fire inside a plastics factory. The accident happened shortly before 2 p.m. CST at Polymer Partners LLC in Henderson, The Gleaner reported (http://bit.ly/tpSElH ). Company President Blaise Codispoti said in a statement that two of the workers injured were taken to University of Louisville Hospital and one to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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Humbled Netflix CEO Still Talking Big

December 7, 2011 8:59 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — To hear Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tell it, the bone-headed decisions that have dragged down the Internet's leading video subscription service during the past five months eventually will be forgotten like a bad movie made by a great film director. Shaking off the stigma of a massive flop won't be easy, a challenge Hastings acknowledged late Tuesday when he spoke at a UBS investor conference in New York.

Buick Adds New Smallest Car, Verano

December 7, 2011 8:56 am | by Ann M. Job, For The Associated Press

"Nice car." The words finally registered the third time the young man in the parking garage said them. With surprise, I acknowledged his comment. Then he asked, "It's a Lincoln, right?" No, the 2012 Verano is a Buick, not a Lincoln. But yes, it is a decidedly nice car with pleasing styling, quiet interior, decent fuel mileage and noteworthy ride and handling.

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UAW Chief Says No Target Picked For Organizing

December 7, 2011 8:54 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Top officials of the United Auto Workers have decided against picking a target company for an effort to sign up workers at U.S. factories owned by foreign automakers. Union President Bob King tells The Associated Press that the UAW executive board will wait to see the automakers' reactions to union demands to respect workers' rights before making any decision.

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Chicago Office To Help Immigrant Business Owners

December 7, 2011 8:52 am | by Sophia Tareen, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials launched a new department Tuesday focused on helping immigrant business owners, a move Mayor Rahm Emanuel billed as a step toward making Chicago "the most immigrant-friendly city in the world." The Office of New Americans is a modest step: It's a one-person department focused on improving access to existing services, instead of providing new ones, at least at first.

Former RV Exec Sentenced For Fraud

December 7, 2011 8:50 am

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A former executive of a recreational vehicle company in northern Indiana has been sentenced to 41 years in federal prison for falsifying company financial reports. Mark Schwartzhoff pleaded guilty last month to wire fraud charges for his actions when he was vice president of finance at Goshen-based Dutchmen Manufacturing.

U.S. Prods Europe On Debt Crisis

December 7, 2011 8:47 am | by Ben Feller, Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is darting across Europe with a stark message: The continent's leaders must act quickly and convincingly to defuse a debt crisis that is threatening the global economy. His visit this week comes on the eve of a summit of European leaders Friday that could yield a plan for resolving the crisis.

Solar Company SunPower To Cut Jobs

December 7, 2011 4:34 am | by The Associated Press

Solar power company SunPower Corp. will cut about 125 jobs, or 2 percent of its workforce, as the company faces a global solar power market where prices and demand are stagnating. SunPower filed a disclosure with federal regulators Tuesday that said the job cuts were part of a companywide restructuring plan its management approved on Nov.

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