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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Honda's Chinese Suppliers Continue Strikes

June 8, 2010 5:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it was assessing the impact of a walkout by some workers at one of its parts suppliers in China, just days after resolving a strike that froze car production at four factories. The strike by some workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. in Foshan, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, began Monday morning, said company spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto.

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Hong Kong Protesters Picket Apple's Supply Chain

June 8, 2010 4:55 am | by Min Lee, Associated Press Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters picketed Foxconn's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor corporate ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories in mainland China. The 30 demonstrators held signs saying, "Workers are not machines.

Ind. Trailer Maker Closes Plant, Fires 150 Workers

June 8, 2010 4:39 am

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana cargo trailer maker says it may close its plant in the city of Middlebury — a move that would cost 150 workers their jobs. Illinois-based Pace American Inc. notified the state of the possible closing late last week, saying it is in the process of selling its business operations and assets.

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Feds Offer $19 Million In Grants To Ex-NUMMI Workers

June 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Evelyn Nieves, Associated Press Writer

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday that the federal government will provide $19 million in emergency grants to help thousands of workers who lost their jobs when California's only auto plant closed. Solis said the money would be used to retrain workers at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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Manufacturing Jobs Ease Nationwide Economic Stress

June 8, 2010 4:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing job gains in the Midwest helped lower the nation's economic stress in April to its lowest point in five months, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. Contributing to the improvement were lower foreclosure rates in two states with beaten-down housing markets: California and Florida.

Hyundai's Indian Workers Continue Crippling Strike

June 8, 2010 4:28 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Police arrested some 200 workers occupying a Hyundai Motor plant as a strike stopped the automaker's Indian production for a second day, the latest in a series of union battles that have pushed the nation's No. 2 carmaker to move some production to Turkey. Hyundai spokesman Rajiv Mitra said police removed the workers from the factory shortly after midday Tuesday and arrested about 200.

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Chrysler Recalls 600,000 Jeeps, Minivans

June 7, 2010 5:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — Federal regulators say Chrysler is recalling nearly 600,000 Jeep Wranglers and Chrysler and Dodge minivans for brake or wiring problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Monday that Chrysler is recalling 288,968 Jeep Wranglers from the 2006 through 2010 model years due to a potential brake fluid leak.

Why Is Nissan 'Manufacturing' A Gospel Choir?

June 7, 2010 4:46 am | by Maria Burnham, Associated Press Writer

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Automobile plants make a lot of noise with welding, stamping and paint machines. But at the Madison County Nissan plant, the new sound is the joyful kind. The plant's three-month old gospel choir has performed for company executives, state officials and the local community.

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Coca-Cola Pays $715 Million To Distribute Dr Pepper

June 7, 2010 4:36 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. will pay $715 million to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for the rights to distribute Dr Pepper and Canada Dry in the U.S. after Coke acquires its largest bottler. Coca-Cola also will distribute Canada Dry, C' Plus and Schweppes in Canada. Those drinks have been distributed by bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

GM Workers Face Daily Uncertainty, Fear Over Closures

June 7, 2010 4:34 am | by Bobbie J. Clark, AP Writer

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Charlotte and Walt Kowalcyk were going to retire from the local General Motors plant in 2013. He would've had nearly 45 years of service under his belt, while she would have logged 21 years. It would have given them financial security for the rest of their days. Now the Kowalcyks go to work every day under a cloud of uncertainty.

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China's Wages No Longer Viable For Cheap Labor

June 7, 2010 4:31 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Recent wage hikes in China could force Taiwanese electronics firms operating there to relocate to other Asian countries, a Taiwanese industry leader has said. Chairman Arthur Chiao of the Taiwan Electronics and Electrical Appliances Association said his group is assisting China-based Taiwanese companies to seek out new manufacturing sites in India, Indonesia and Vietnam in the wake of steadily rising labor costs on the mainland.

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Ammunition Plant Ignored 'Numerous' Safety Concerns

June 7, 2010 4:29 am

COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) — Court documents regarding a deadly explosion at a New Hampshire gun and ammunition plant indicate evidence of possible violations concerning the storage, manufacturing and handling of explosive materials. The Caledonian-Record reports the state fire marshal's office received two search warrants regarding the MDM Muzzleloader plant in Colebrook.

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Oil Industry: Thousands Of Jobs At Stake

June 4, 2010 5:00 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With a six-month moratorium ordered for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, oilfield companies and analysts are warning of job losses and production delays. In addition, drilling companies could send idled rigs to foreign markets, and new regulation could make producing some fields unprofitable, they said.

Chrysler CEO: Our Products Were 'Inexcusable'

June 4, 2010 4:39 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — The auto industry can't afford to become complacent and must guard against slipping into old habits as it rebounds, the head of Chrysler Group LLC said Thursday. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he worries that he's seeing a reluctance to make the fundamental, structural, traumatic change the industry must make to remain competitive.

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'Shrek'-Themed McDonalds Cups Pulled For Cadmium

June 4, 2010 4:26 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cadmium has been discovered in the painted design on "Shrek"-themed drinking glasses being sold nationwide at McDonald's, forcing the fast food company to recall 12 million of the cheap U.S.-made collectibles while dramatically expanding contamination concerns about the toxic metal beyond imported children's jewelry.

GM Starts Venture Capital Company For New Tech

June 4, 2010 4:24 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it has set up its own venture capital company with $100 million to find new technology. The automaker says General Motors Ventures LLC will help nurture new technology and bring it to market so GM has the latest innovations. GM says former vice president of global product planning Jon Lauckner will head the new venture starting July 1.

CAT Buys Locomotive Maker For $820 Million

June 4, 2010 4:23 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. says its Alabama-based railroad service unit will spend $820 million cash to acquire locomotive maker Electro-Motive Diesel. Caterpillar says that its Progress Rail Services division, headquartered in Albertville, Ala.

Survey Shows Little Risk Of Industrial Brain Cancer

June 4, 2010 4:22 am | by Stephen Singer, Associated Press Writer

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The incidence of brain cancer at jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney was the same as or less than for the general population, researchers said Thursday. The researchers, from the University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois, released the second of three phases of their massive study of 212,513 workers at one of eight Connecticut plants from 1952 to 2001.

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Altria Forks Over $1 Billion To IRS Over Falsified Returns

June 2, 2010 4:57 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Altria Group Inc. has agreed to pay about $971 million in taxes and interest in an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service over income tax returns for the years 2000 through 2003, the cigarette maker said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. However, Altria also said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it intends to file administrative claims with the IRS for a refund or credit, and would sue the government if the claims are denied.

Yarn-Making Operation Creates 100 N.C. Jobs

June 2, 2010 4:55 am

BELMONT, N.C. (AP) — A South Carolina textile company plans to open a yarn-making operation in a vacant mill in North Carolina, employing about 100 people. Multiple media outlets reported that Jo-Mar Spinning will start the spinning and twisting operation in the former Helms plant in Belmont.

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