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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Caterpillar Cuts 100 More Indiana Workers

October 7, 2009 4:00 am

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. plans to lay off about 100 workers from an Indiana engine plant where it has already cut hundreds of jobs. Company spokesman Jim Dugan says about 106 production employees will be included in the layoffs that will start in November at the Large Engine Center in Lafayette.

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GM Production In Thailand Shut Down Amid Strike

October 7, 2009 3:56 am

BANGKOK (AP) — General Motors Co.'s plant in Thailand has halted production after hundreds of workers went on strike to demand higher pay and better conditions, an official said Wednesday. It marked the third day the assembly line's operations were suspended since several hundred of its 1,700 workers began striking Monday.

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Study: Neb. Meatpackers Face Brutal Conditions

October 7, 2009 3:52 am

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ten years after the state approved a bill of rights to protect Nebraska meatpacking workers from unsafe conditions, a new report says the job remains dangerous. A report from the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest says Nebraska plant workers face hazardous conditions, including unrelenting line speed and humiliating treatment and verbal abuse.

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Boeing Tallies Up $1 Billion Charge

October 6, 2009 5:09 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing said Tuesday it expects to record a charge of $1 billion in the third quarter due to higher costs in its 747-8 program and difficult market conditions. Last year, the company said it was delaying deliveries of the 747-8 freighter and passenger jets due to design changes, limited engineering resources and a strike that shut down the company's commercial jet factories for eight weeks.

Chrysler Gives Visteon $31 Million Pick-Me-Up

October 6, 2009 5:02 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler Group LLC will pay auto supplier Visteon Corp. at least $31 million and shift business to other suppliers as part of a plan to help Visteon emerge from bankruptcy protection, a Visteon spokesman said Monday. Under the deal, which must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Visteon would help Chrysler find new suppliers and sell Chrysler parts-making tools in exchange for the payments.

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Ill. Steel Company Fined For Dangerous Conditions

October 6, 2009 4:50 am

CHICAGO (AP) -- A suburban Chicago steel company has been fined more than $111,000 for alleged violations of federal worker safety law. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Quinco Steel Inc. of Chicago Heights with the proposed penalties. The citations follow an inspection of a bridge construction site in Chicago where the company was providing steel erection work.

Boeing Deliveries Up This Month, Whole Year

October 6, 2009 4:45 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Boeing Co. said Tuesday its delivery of commercial jets jumped by more than a third in the latest quarter, much improved over the same period last year when machinists walked off the job. The Chicago-based airplane manufacturer said it delivered 113 planes, up from 84 in the third quarter of 2008, when operations were disrupted by an eight-week strike by the International Association of Machinists.

Tenn. Unilever Plant Anything But 'Slim'

October 6, 2009 4:36 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Unilever plant in Covington, Tenn., will expand to add 275 new jobs, nearly doubling its work force. The current 163 employees at the plant now produce Slim-Fast and will add the manufacture of ice cream and frozen novelties to its production line. Unilever brands include Breyers, Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle.

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Miss. Hybrid Startup To Unveil Prototypes

October 6, 2009 4:28 am

TUNICA, Miss. (AP) — A startup car company was expected to unveil four prototype vehicles Tuesday that it has said would be built at a multibillion dollar car plant in Mississippi. Bill Brabec, an attorney with GreenTech Automotive, said the company hopes to break ground this year on a $6.

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French Workers 'Bossnap' Manager Overnight

October 6, 2009 4:26 am | by Remy De La Mauvinere, Associated Press Writer

SEMOY, France (AP) — Workers at a French chemical plant owned by the U.S. company Dow Chemical freed their boss Tuesday after holding him overnight to protest the closing of the factory in the Loire Valley. Christian Siest, the director of the Rohm and Hass chemical factory, was given access to the bathroom, water, telephones and the Internet while he was held, said Christophe Fillippi, a worker at the plant.

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Emerson Buys Avocent For $1.2 Billion

October 6, 2009 4:21 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Emerson Electric Co. said Tuesday it has agreed to buy Avocent Corp. for about $1.2 billion in cash, a move the company says will offer customers better management of their data centers. The manufacturing and technology services company said it will offer $25 per share for Avocent, a 22 percent premium over Monday's closing price.

GM Recalls 1,000 Workers At Ohio Plant

October 5, 2009 4:58 am

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Officials say the recall of 1,000 hourly General Motors Corp. workers should provide a lift to an economically depressed part of Ohio. GM on Monday is starting a second shift at its factory in Lordstown that now makes the Chevrolet Cobalt small car and will begin building the Chevy Cruze compact early next year.

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Site Of Nation's Deadliest Labor Strike Up For Auction

October 5, 2009 4:38 am | by Katrina A. Goggins, Associated Press Writer

HONEA PATH, S.C. (AP) -- All that remains of the abandoned South Carolina textile mill that was the site of the nation's deadliest violence during a labor strike 75 years ago are crumbling brick walls, creaky wood floors and whispers of the tragedy. The fate of Chiquola Mills is unknown, the site slated for auction in November after the owner failed to pay $5,000 in taxes and stopped demolition amid tough economic times.

VW Shows Off $1b Tennessee Plant

October 5, 2009 4:31 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A Volkswagen board member is touting its new Chattanooga facility as "the backbone" of the German automaker's success in the United States. Board member Jochem Heizmann, in charge of worldwide production, was speaking Sunday at a gathering of local elected officials and Gov.

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Chrysler Names New Dodge Ram, Car Execs

October 5, 2009 4:29 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's new Italian management on Monday announced a surprise shake-up of the automaker's executive team, saying two recently appointed brand CEOs have resigned and that it was splitting Dodge into two groups, one focusing on trucks and the other on cars. The moves, announced Monday, marked the second management reorganization since Fiat Group SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne took control of Chrysler on June 10 when it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Deere, UAW Ratify Six-Year Contract

October 5, 2009 4:26 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. says it has been notified by the United Auto Workers that union members have ratified a six-year contract. The agreement, which covers about 9,500 workers and 17,000 retirees, takes effect Monday and expires Oct. 1, 2015. Neither party provided details about the contract's terms.

Chemical Company Fined $150,000 For Acid Cloud

October 5, 2009 4:25 am

PETROLIA, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says a pump used without an electrical safety shut off caused an acid cloud that forced hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents to evacuate last year. Indspec Chemical Corp. faces more than $150,000 in state environmental and federal workplace safety fines for the leak in Petrolia on Oct.

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Chrysler's Italian Boss Unfazed By Low Market Share

October 2, 2009 5:00 am

DETROIT (AP) — The new Italian leader of Chrysler Group LLC says he is not alarmed by the automaker's market share decline and he expects to improve the company's U.S. share from this point forward. Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne, speaking to reporters Thursday while on a tour of Chrysler's headquarters with Italy's economic development minister, also said there are no plans to reverse a decision to close an assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights.

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Bookmaker Closes Factory Because Nobody Reads Anymore

October 2, 2009 4:13 am

KIRKWOOD, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York book manufacturer is closing its doors after nearly a century in business. Vail-Ballou Press in Kirkwood will close in the next 90 days, eliminating 270 jobs. Vail-Ballou's parent company, The Maple Press Co. of York, Pa., cited a significant decrease in manufacturing demand during the recession as the reason for the shutdown.

580 Jobs At Sparrows Point Steel Mill At Risk

October 2, 2009 4:12 am

DUNDALK, Md. (AP) — The union that represents 2,500 Sparrows Point steel mill workers says the plant's Russian owners' proposed restructuring could affect nearly a third of the work force. John Cirri, president of United Steelworkers Local 9477, said Thursday that Russian steel company Severstal's restructuring proposal details different ways about 580 jobs could be affected, including reductions, retirements or transfers.

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