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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

ISM Index: 21 Straight Months Of Manufacturing Growth

May 2, 2011 4:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity probably increased in April for the 21st straight month, but at a slower pace than in March. Economists forecast that the Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity will drop to 59.6 in April from 61.2 in the previous month. That would be the second straight drop, a sign the manufacturing sector is cooling off after expanding in February at the fastest rate in nearly seven years.

'Temporary' Workers Sue GM, UAW Over Back Pay

May 2, 2011 4:29 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of General Motors employees in Ohio is suing the company and the United Auto Workers, alleging that GM has unfairly denied them full pay and benefits and the union has not fought for them. Twenty-eight employees of GM's Lordstown, Ohio, factory say they have been improperly classified as temporary employees since being hired in October 2006.

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Chrysler Turns First Profit In Two Years

May 2, 2011 4:25 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler has turned its first profit since leaving bankruptcy two years ago. The company reported first-quarter net income of $116 million and revenue of $13.1 billion on Monday. The profit is a milestone in Chrysler's long road back to health after its 2009 bankruptcy. It last reported a net profit in 2006.

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Chinese Telecom Manufacturers Face Off In Patent War

April 29, 2011 9:47 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp. has countered accusations by rival Huawei Technologies of violations of its patent and trademark rights by suing Huawei for alleged infringements of its mobile phone technology. ZTE said in a statement Friday that it plans to use all legal means to protect its own intellectual property rights.

Goodyear Posts Record Quarterly Sales Figures

April 29, 2011 9:28 am | by Thomas J Sheeran, Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. sold more tires at higher prices in the first quarter, helping it set a company sales record for any quarter and reverse a loss from the first quarter of 2010. Goodyear shares rose more than 10 percent to $17.87 after the opening bell, a new 52-week high.

Federal Judge: Yes, Toyota Lawsuits Can Move Forward

April 29, 2011 9:14 am | by Greg Risling, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, California (AP) — A federal judge in California said Friday that he will deny another request from Toyota Motor Corp. to dismiss lawsuits filed by car owners who claim sudden-acceleration defects were responsible for the value of their vehicles to drop. U.S. District Judge James Selna said in a 30-page ruling that the lawsuits have enough merit to move forward.

State Attorneys Object To Labor Complaint Against Boeing

April 29, 2011 9:07 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Several states have joined South Carolina's attorney general in objecting to a federal labor complaint filed against Boeing Corp. for opening a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston. Attorney General Alan Wilson and eight other attorneys general said in a letter Thursday that the National Labor Relations Board's complaint against Boeing hurts the states' ability to create jobs and recruit industry.

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Philip Morris Wins In Miss. Hospitals V. Tobacco

April 29, 2011 8:58 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a lawsuit Friday filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers. Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit. The case was filed as the City of St.

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Kia Recalls 58,000 Cars For Gas Tanks That Fall Off

April 29, 2011 7:59 am

DETROIT (AP) — Kia Motors Corp. is recalling more than 58,000 Spectra compact cars registered in cold-weather states because the gas tanks could fall off and cause a fire. The recall affects Spectra LD models from the 2004 to 2007 model years in 20 states and Washington, D.C., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Friday.

CAT Profit Soars Five-Fold Thanks To Economic Recovery

April 29, 2011 4:53 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said its first-quarter profit soared more than five-fold as a growing economic recovery boosted demand for the company's mining and construction equipment. The results blew past analysts' expectations and its boosted its outlook for the year.

U.S. Paychecks Rise, But Go Straight Into Pricey Gasoline

April 29, 2011 4:36 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans earned and spent more in March, but much of the extra money went toward more expensive gasoline. Personal incomes rose 0.5 percent last month and consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday. But after adjusting for inflation, spending rose a much more subdued 0.

Chinese Manufacturing Stagnant On Supply Chain Troubles

April 29, 2011 4:31 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — Chinese manufacturers added workers but saw scant growth in orders in April amid delays in supplies resulting from Japan's earthquake and tsunami. London-based HSBC said Friday its China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index remained at 51.8 in April, matching its March level and just above a seven-month low of 51.

Cisco: Can You Baby Boomers Retire Already?

April 29, 2011 4:21 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. is giving some of its employees the option to retire early, a move that it hopes will reduce costs. Cisco, in the midst of a restructuring, is trying to re-focus on its core business of selling computer networking gear. Cisco spokeswoman Karen Tillman said Thursday that the networking equipment maker is offering voluntary retirement to some employees in the U.

Microsoft Earnings Through The Roof, Investors Flee

April 29, 2011 4:19 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Even as Microsoft Corp.'s earnings grow at a robust rate, investors can't seem to shake the feeling that the boom days are winding down for the world's largest software maker. The company's fiscal third-quarter results, released Thursday, provided little reassurance despite a 31 percent increase in earnings, exceeding analyst estimates.

Tornadoes Shut Down The South's Manufacturing Base

April 29, 2011 4:16 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The devastating tornadoes that swept across Alabama and other southern states Wednesday caused widespread power outages, shut down several large manufacturing plants and could disrupt the region's fragile economic recovery. Most economists say the setback will likely be temporary.

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J&J To Come Back 'Stronger Than Ever' After Quality Woes

April 28, 2011 9:42 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's chief executive told shareholders at their annual meeting Thursday that the company will come back "stronger than ever" after addressing quality problems that resulted in an astounding string of product recalls. William Weldon, who became CEO in 2002, said the series of "disappointing recalls" troubled him and employees and meant thousands of parents could not get medicines they needed for their children.

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Oshkosh Corp. Income Tumbles On Gov't Shortfalls

April 28, 2011 9:19 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Shares of Oshkosh Corp. tumbled Thursday after the heavy vehicle maker said that its net income and revenue both fell sharply in the second fiscal quarter. THE SPARK: The company, based in Oshkosh, Wis., said its net income fell to $67.9 million, or 74 cents per share, from $292.

Chrysler To Repay $7.5 Billion In Gov't Loans This Year

April 28, 2011 9:10 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler will take out bank loans and sell bonds to repay $7.5 billion in bailout money from the U.S. and Canadian governments, another sign that the automaker is recovering from its near-collapse in 2009. Details about how much Chrysler will borrow from banks and the size of the bond sale are being worked out.

Texas Company Fined For Underpaying Disabled Workers

April 28, 2011 8:48 am | by Melanie S. Welte, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge ordered a Texas-based company accused of abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men at a turkey plant in Iowa to pay $1.76 million to the former workers, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday. The partial summary judgment was issued in the department's lawsuit against Hill Country Farms, of Goldthwaite, Texas, doing business as Henry's Turkey Service.

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Spyker Appeals To Russians For Cash To Save Saab

April 28, 2011 7:21 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Spyker Cars, the tiny Dutch company that controls struggling automaker Saab, came closer to getting much-needed investment from Russian Vladimir Antonov after Sweden's debt office on Thursday approved his application to become a shareholder. The decision means Spyker has cleared one of several hurdles in its attempt to solve a liquidity crisis that has forced it to suspend production at the Saab plant in western Sweden.

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