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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Skinny On Idaho-Built Solar Panels

June 25, 2010 4:27 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A company formed by Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. and Origin Energy of Australia says it plans to start making extremely thin but highly efficient solar cells that will be available next year. Transform Solar officials say the so-called sliver solar cells will be made at a plant in Boise where Micron once made computer chips, and the cells will be combined into solar panels at another plant owned by Micron in Nampa.

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Immigrants To Unemployed: 'Come On, Take Our Jobs'

June 25, 2010 4:24 am | by Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a tongue-in-cheek call for immigration reform, farm workers are teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert in a challenge to unemployed Americans: Come on, take our jobs. Farm workers are tired of being blamed by politicians and anti-immigrant activists for taking work that should go to Americans and dragging down the economy, said Arturo Rodriguez, the president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Whirlpool's Evansville Plant Closes, Heads To Mexico

June 25, 2010 4:23 am

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The Whirlpool Corp. plant in Evansville that has been the site of protests over its closure is producing its final refrigerators. The plant's production line is shutting down Friday, meaning the loss of some 600 jobs. About 450 other workers were laid off in March when Whirlpool ended its second production shift.

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Boeing's 787 Fleet Grounded By Poor Workmanship

June 25, 2010 4:21 am

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. says it inspecting all of its 787 jets because after finding that some have improperly installed parts in a section of the tail. In a statement late Thursday Boeing says it had "identified a workmanship issue" with the horizontal tail, also called a stabilizer. Shims and fasteners weren't installed correctly, the aircraft maker said.

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Survey Shows CEOs Plan To Boost Payrolls

June 23, 2010 5:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of CEOs planning to ramp up hiring is at the highest level since mid-2007, according to a survey that suggests big U.S. companies are growing more confident about the economic recovery. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of big U.S. companies, said Wednesday its survey shows 39 percent of chief executives expect to boost their payrolls in the second half of 2010.

Rigger Stands Trial Following Deadly Crane Collapse

June 23, 2010 4:54 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A reckless rigger's safety shortcuts caused a crane collapse that killed seven people, a prosecutor said as the rigger's manslaughter trial began Tuesday. His lawyer said the rigger was being unfairly blamed for bad decisions that set up a vulnerable tower of metal. William Rapetti wiped tears from his face as the prosecutor recounted the March 2008 disaster, one of the nation's deadliest crane accidents, in a Manhattan courtroom crowded with relatives and lawyers representing those killed and hurt.

Slaughterhouse Exec Gets 27 Years For Fraud

June 23, 2010 4:51 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison for financial fraud, a sentence legal experts called severe but not necessarily surprising as judges take tough stances on white-collar crime. Sholom Rubashkin, a former vice president of Agriprocessors Inc.

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Toshiba To Build Motors For Electric, Hybrid Vehicles

June 23, 2010 4:48 am

HOUSTON (AP) — Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday that it will begin building motors for electric and hybrid vehicles at its plants in Texas. The Japanese conglomerate made the announcement after Ford Motor Co. awarded it a contract to make drive motors for Ford hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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Fresh Walkouts Halt Production At Toyota, Honda Plants

June 23, 2010 4:45 am | by Jay Alabaster, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Corp. said Wednesday they stopped production at some of their car assembly plants in southern China after parts suppliers were hit by more labor unrest. The fresh walkouts at the Japanese car makers are slowing output and adding to costs at a time when both companies have been ramping up production to meet strong demand.

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Procter & Gamble To Expand Gain Product Line

June 23, 2010 4:43 am | by Dan Sewell, AP Business Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) — Procter & Gamble Co. said Tuesday that it will expand its Gain brand from the laundry to the kitchen sink, the latest move by the world's largest consumer products company to market its megabrands in new ways and new places. At a Jefferies investor conference in Nantucket, Mass.

Ford Pulls Escape SUV From MO Assembly Plant

June 22, 2010 12:45 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A union president says Ford will stop making the Escape at its Kansas City area plant near the end of next year. United Auto Workers local president Jeff Wright said Tuesday that Ford Motor Co. plans to build the next generation of the sport utility vehicle at a plant in Louisville, Ky.

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Pork Board Squeals Over Imaginary Unicorn Meat

June 22, 2010 12:42 pm | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It's official: The National Pork Board says it knows unicorns don't exist. The industry group says it was only protecting its trademark when it issued cease-and-desist warning to online retailer ThinkGeek for calling a fake unicorn meat product "the new white meat.

Slaughterhouse Exec Faces 27 Years Over Immigration

June 22, 2010 5:04 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge is to sentence a former vice president of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse to 27 years in prison and pay $27 million in restitution for financial fraud. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade is to sentence former Agriprocessor's Inc. manager Sholom Rubashkin on Tuesday in Cedar Rapids.

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China: Stop Blaming Us For Domestic Troubles

June 22, 2010 4:55 am

BEIJING (AP) — China said world leaders should focus on overcoming economic difficulties together and not play the blame game at this weekend's summit of the Group of 20 leading economies, just days after Beijing announced greater flexibility for its currency. China's central bank loosened the yuan's peg to the dollar on Saturday.

Bangladesh Workers Join Chinese In Wage Protests

June 22, 2010 4:45 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press Writer

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — About 700 garment factories in Bangladesh were shut Tuesday after days of violent protests by tens of thousands of workers demanding better wages. The manufacturers decided late Monday to close their factories because they had no other way to avoid the anarchy in the major industrial hub outside the capital, according to an official at the Bangladesh GarmentManufacturers and Exporters Association.

FDA's Anti-Tobacco Regulation On Slow Burn

June 22, 2010 4:36 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A year after a new law put tobacco regulation in the hands of the Food and Drug Administration, one thing is clear: It will likely be years before any of the most aggressive steps to reduce deaths from smoking might happen. When President Barack Obama signed the bill into law last June, anti-tobacco advocates suggested it could lead to a reduction in nicotine levels, a ban on menthol cigarettes or other aggressive moves.

Toyota To Hire 100 At Southern Indiana Factory

June 22, 2010 4:32 am

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. plans to add about 100 temporary workers to its southern Indiana plant as it increases production. Factory spokeswoman Kelly Dillon says the new production workers for the plant near Princeton will be hired in the coming weeks through its staffing agency, Aerotek.

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Disgruntled Mazda Employee Slams Car Into Co-Workers

June 22, 2010 4:31 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — A disgruntled worker slammed his car into employees at a Mazda factory Tuesday, killing one and injuring 10, stunning Japan just two years after an autoworker went on a deadly rampage in central Tokyo. Toshiaki Hikiji, 42, was arrested about an hour later on attempted murder charges after fleeing in his car from Mazda's Ujina plant in Hiroshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, police said.

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AstraZeneca Pays $103 Million For Price Fixing Cancer Drug

June 21, 2010 5:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — AstraZeneca PLC on Friday agreed to pay $103 million to settle lawsuits that allege it inflated the price of its cancer drug Zoladex and its child asthma medication Pulmicort. The lawsuits alleged that the British drug maker inflated the average wholesale price of the drugs, a benchmark rate used to determine how much the drugs cost for consumers, health plans and government programs.

Biden Breaks Ground On Battery Manufacturing Plant

June 21, 2010 4:58 am

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Midland for the groundbreaking of an advanced battery manufacturing facility being built by a Dow Chemical Co. joint venture. Biden is to be at the event Monday for the Dow Kokam facility. The joint venture was given a $161 million grant to build a lithium polymer battery technology manufacturing plant.

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