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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Sodexo Workers Demand French Protections, Benefits

January 25, 2010 11:09 am | by Fannie Dassie, Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) — A group of U.S. employees at French food services giant Sodexo on Monday demanded workplace protections in North America similar to those their colleagues in France enjoy. Their tactics were viewed with curiosity in France, where it is more common to see French labor unions pressing for more rights from big American employers.

Ford Adds 1,200 Jobs To Chicago Assembly Line

January 25, 2010 11:06 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A person briefed on the matter says Ford Motor Co. will add 1,200 jobs at its Chicago assembly plant to build the new Ford Explorer starting later this year. The company and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn are scheduled to make the announcement on Tuesday at the factory. Quinn told reporters in Chicago on Monday that an unspecified company would be announcing 1,200 new jobs in Illinois.

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DuPont Idles Plants After Recent Series Of Accidents

January 25, 2010 3:44 am

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and county officials say DuPont is planning safety checks that are expected to temporarily idle most manufacturing at its Belle chemical plant. Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and a spokesman for Gov. Joe Manchin confirmed DuPont's plans Saturday afternoon.

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Bubble Wrap Now 'Over The Hill,' Still Fun As Ever

January 25, 2010 3:42 am | by David Porter, Associated Press Writer

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. (AP) — People have walked to the altar dressed in it, protected their garden plants with it, even put it on display at highbrow art museums. Mostly, they like the sound it makes when they destroy it, piece by piece, which largely explains the appeal of Bubble Wrap, the stress reducer disguised as package cushioning that maintains an inexplicable hold on pop culture.

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More Melamine-Tainted Milk In China's QA Nightmare

January 25, 2010 3:38 am

BEIJING (AP) — Melamine-tainted dairy products were pulled from convenience store shelves in southern China more than a year after hundreds of thousands of children had been sickened in a massive milk safety scandal, a government spokeswoman said Monday. The announcement calls into question the effectiveness of a crackdown launched by Chinese officials to improve product safety after a number of scandals, including the contamination of baby formula in 2008 and the recent discovery of the toxic metal cadmium in cheap jewelry.

Chrysler's Ohio Stamping Plant Stays Alive 3 More Months

January 25, 2010 3:31 am

TWINSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Union leaders say Chrysler's stamping plant in Ohio will stay open until June 26, three months longer than the company had planned. Doug Rice, president of the United Auto Workers Local 122, said Friday that Chrysler wanted to build up a bank of parts and then close the plant in March, but rising steel prices delayed those plans.

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Military Body Armor Execs Charged With Fraud

January 25, 2010 3:30 am

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) -- A federal jury is hearing the case of two former top executives of the nation's leading supplier of body armor to the U.S. military. They're charged with insider trading, fraud and tax evasion in an alleged $185 million scheme. Opening statements were scheduled Monday in Central Islip (EYE'-slihp), N.

RI Meatpacker Recalls 1.24 Million Pounds Of Salami

January 25, 2010 3:19 am

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island meat company recalled 1.24 million pounds of pepper-coated salami on Saturday, after officials conducting a months-long, multistate investigation of a salmonella outbreak compared shopping receipts of those who got sick. The recall by Daniele International Inc.

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Oil Refineries Desperate For Boomer Replacements

January 25, 2010 3:18 am | by Peter Johnson

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Concerned about the graying of its work force, three Billings area oil refineries persuaded MSU-Billings College of Technology to create a two-year program in process-plant technology. Almost 50 students are starting the concentrated, two-year program this semester, hoping to take advantage of median Montana wages of $51,200 in the industry.

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Smith & Wesson VP Charged With Multimillion-Dollar Bribe

January 22, 2010 3:34 am

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A top Smith & Wesson executive is among 22 people accused of trying to bribe an African government to get part of a multimillion-dollar deal to outfit its presidential guard. Amaro Goncalves, 49, vice president of sales for the Springfield-based gunmaker, and the other defendants were arrested Monday in Las Vegas while attending a trade show.

Harley-Davidson Posts 4Q Loss, First In 16 Years

January 22, 2010 3:15 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. on Friday reported a fourth-quarter loss, its first quarterly deficit in 16 years, as restructuring costs and the sluggish economy wore on the motorcycle maker. Harley-Davidson has spent the last year reorganizing its business to cope with falling demand of its high-end bikes.

Union: Opel Closure, Job Cuts A 'Declaration Of War'

January 22, 2010 3:09 am

BERLIN (AP) — Employee representatives at General Motors Co.'s Opel unit on Friday slammed the automaker's announcement it would cut 8,300 jobs and close its plant in Belgium as a "declaration of war" on European workers. Armin Schild, head of the IG Metall union in Frankfurt and a member of Opel's board, criticized GM for lacking a clear and thoroughly financed restructuring concept, the DAPD news agency reported.

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EnerDel To Bring 500 Jobs To Indianapolis Region

January 22, 2010 3:06 am

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Lithium battery maker EnerDel says it will locate its newest manufacturing operation in Hancock County, bringing 500 jobs to the area. Gov. Mitch Daniels joined EnerDel executives Thursday to announce the new operation near Mount Comfort just east of Indianapolis. He says he hopes EnerDel can help make Indiana the capital of the electric vehicle industry.

Obama Pushes Populist Message For Clean-Energy Jobs

January 22, 2010 3:03 am | by Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is telling voters in Ohio, already wracked by high unemployment, that investments in clean-energy technologies will help boost the nation's economy. Obama planned to use his visit Friday to test-drive an aggressive populist push on jobs, a top concern for voters across the country as the White House begins a message shift heading into fall elections expected to be difficult for Democrats.

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Toyota Recalls 2.3 Million Cars For Sticky Accelerators

January 22, 2010 2:58 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota is recalling 2.3 million U.S. vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals, the latest in a string of quality problems that have bedeviled the Japanese automaker. The recall includes the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequioia.

InBev Worker-Exec Standoff Causes Massive Beer Shortage

January 20, 2010 3:54 am

LEUVEN, Belgium (AP) — The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, shut down production in its home country Wednesday in an escalation of a standoff with workers at its Belgian breweries over job cuts. Workers began blockading three AB InBev breweries two weeks ago to protest against cutting up to 263 jobs in Belgium as part of plan to reduce the company's European work force by 10 percent.

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Miss. Plant Explosion Injures Three

January 20, 2010 3:42 am

GUNTOWN, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a plant explosion in Lee County has injured three workers. Lee County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Hall says the explosion happened about 2:26 p.m. Tuesday as workers were cleaning a machine at Columbian Rope Co. in Guntown. Hall says one person was airlifted from the scene to the North Mississippi Medical Center, and another had extensive injuries.

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Chinese Exec Escapes To U.S., Plans 4,000-Job Hybrid Plant

January 20, 2010 3:39 am | by Phillip Rawls, Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Chinese carmaker planning a hybrid car assembly plant in Alabama has lined up a veteran engineering and design firm while still trying to put together $1.5 billion in financing for the project. Benjamin Yeung, chairman of Hybrid Kinetic Motors Corp.

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Sioux City Meatpacker To Close, Sheds 1,500 Jobs

January 20, 2010 3:33 am

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials say the John Morrell & Co. meatpacking plant, one of the city's largest employers, will close this spring. The plant has about 1,500 workers. Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty says Mayor Mike Hobart received the news on Tuesday from plant manager Dan Pacquin, who said the plant would close April 20.

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Food Maker Boosts N.C. Community With 500 New Jobs

January 20, 2010 3:27 am

HALIFAX, N.C. (AP) — A national producer of prepared foods is expanding a North Carolina plant and plans to create 500 jobs, providing a boost to an Interstate 95 corridor that has for years struggled to lower its jobless rate. Reser's Fine Foods Inc. will create the jobs over the next five years at the Halifax Industrial Center in Halifax County.

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