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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Hybrid, Indian Automakers Show Interest In Ex-GM Plant

October 12, 2009 4:17 am

NEWPORT, Del. (AP) — Three automakers reportedly have toured the shuttered Boxwood Road auto plant near Newport as Delaware officials work to find another tenant for the former General Motors plant. The Wilmington News Journal reported Sunday that the three include a start-up developing a plug-in hybrid and an Indian automaker.


China Asks WTO To Probe EU Steel Taxes

October 12, 2009 4:11 am | by Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA (AP) — China said Monday that it will ask the World Trade Organization to examine whether European Union charges on imports of Chinese steel fasteners comply with international commerce rules. Beijing argues that the EU is illegally taxing the screws needed for products from furniture to cars.

Manufacturers Turn To Prisoners For Work

October 12, 2009 4:07 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Good help is hard to find, unless that help is doing hard time. Two manufacturers are taking advantage of a program in which they develop factories in Arkansas prisons and put convicts to work at market wages. The workers use their earnings to fund the program, pay child support, fines, restitution and build a nest egg.


GM Inks Hummer Sale To Chinese

October 9, 2009 8:41 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once was a symbol of America's love for hulking trucks, is now in the hands of a Chinese heavy equipment maker. General Motors Co. and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. finally signed the much-anticipated deal to sell the brand on Friday, according to a joint statement issued by both companies.

Body Found At Conn. Recycling Center

October 9, 2009 7:22 am

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford police are at a recycling plant investigating the death of a man whose body was found near cardboard boxes. Police are trying to determine who the man was and how he died. They say he was not an employee of the plant. Authorities were called to All Waste Inc.


France Orders Anti-Stress Plans For Workers

October 9, 2009 5:28 am

PARIS (AP) — France's labor minister has ordered all companies with more than 1,000 employees to develop an anti-stress plan based on discussions about pressure in the workplace. If not, they will go on a list of shame to be published on the Internet. The government's concern about the psychological and physical health of employees follows outrage caused by 25 suicides in 18 months at the phone company France Telecom.

NC Gov. Orders Dell To Pay Back Incentives

October 9, 2009 4:43 am

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Beverly Perdue says North Carolina has no choice but to keep offering incentives packages to attract out-of-state companies even with the closing of the Dell computer plant. But Perdue told reporters Thursday she's made plain to Dell the state expects back every "red cent" it's owed in tax breaks and other benefits because it didn't meet job and investment performance standards.


Ford Union Summons Execs To Detroit

October 9, 2009 4:37 am | by Ken Thomas and Tom Krisher, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has summoned representatives from Ford factories across the nation to Detroit on Tuesday to discuss contract talks with the automaker. Union President Ron Gettelfinger confirmed the meeting after a charity appearance in Washington on Thursday night but would not elaborate.


GM Sets Sales Record In China

October 9, 2009 4:28 am

BEIJING (AP) — General Motors Corp. said Friday it set a sales record in China in September and total sales for the first nine months of the year rose 55 percent to nearly 1.3 million vehicles. GM and other global automakers are looking to China's fast-growing market to drive sales amid slack demand elsewhere.

Tata Motors Fundraises For $750m Jaguar

October 9, 2009 4:16 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's Tata Motors has raised $750 million from international markets to help pay for its 2008 acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co., the company said Friday. Tata Motors said it's issuing 29.9 million new shares, worth $375 million, in the form of Global Depository Shares at $12.

Monsanto Under Antitrust Investigation

October 8, 2009 12:10 pm

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto Co. says the Justice Department is investigating whether it violated antitrust rules in trying to expand its dominance of the market for genetically engineered crops. The department's investigation of Monsanto is part of a previously announced inquiry into consolidation in the seed industry.

LED Manufacturer To Expand, Add 575 Jobs

October 8, 2009 12:05 pm

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based maker of energy-efficient lighting elements is expanding and plans to add 575 jobs in the next three years. Cree Inc. said Thursday it expects to add 275 jobs this year as it expands production of light-emitting diode chips at its Durham plant.


Man Causes $50m Fire At Meatpacker, Gets 90 Days In Jail

October 8, 2009 6:30 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man whose military flare sparked a $50 million meatpacking plant fire this summer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. Joshua J. Popp was also sentenced Thursday to three years probation and 500 hours of community service. The 23-year-old apologized and said he took responsibility for his actions.


Dell To Close NC Plant, Cut 905 Workers

October 7, 2009 10:02 am

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Dell Inc. says it will close a desktop computer manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by the end of January. The computer maker said Wednesday that 905 people will be laid off, with around 600 to be let go next month. The plant closure is part of a plan to save $4 billion a year at Dell by 2011.


Cummins Recalls 270 Workers To Build Ram Engines

October 7, 2009 6:55 am

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Diesel-engine maker Cummins Inc. said Wednesday that it wants to recall about 270 laid off or transferred production workers to meet an increase in orders for Dodge Ram turbo diesel pickup truck engines. Chrysler Group LLC is attempting to build inventory for its 2010 model heavy duty Dodge Ram pickup, which is powered by Cummins' 6.


Thermo Fisher Closing Iowa Plant

October 7, 2009 4:36 am

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced plans to close its plant in Dubuque next year, eliminating 350 jobs. The company that makes equipment for industrial and laboratory use says in a news release on Tuesday that it plans to begin layoffs in January. The layoffs will continue in phases until the plant closes at the end of September 2010.


Delphi Emerges From 4-Year Bankruptcy Protection

October 7, 2009 4:24 am | by Bree Fowler, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Auto parts supplier Delphi finally exited bankruptcy protection on Tuesday nearly four years to the day it filed for Chapter 11. Delphi emerged as a new company after completing a deal with its lenders and receiving a promise for billions in loans from GM, which once owned Delphi and buys critical parts from them.


15,000 Romanian Strikers Chant 'Down with government!'

October 7, 2009 4:11 am | by Alison Mutler, Associated Press Writer

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Some 15,000 Romanian workers from all over the country protested low wages in the capital on Wednesday, rallying outside government headquarters to demand leaders do something to increase their pay. Workers blew whistles, sounded ambulance sirens, yelled "unity, unity!" and "Down with the government!" The minority government is to face a confidence vote in Parliament on Tuesday after its coalition partner the Social Democratic Party quit last week.

Chinese Medical Manufacturer To Build Baton Rouge Plant

October 7, 2009 4:07 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Chinese company plans to build a plant in Baton Rouge to manufacturer a radiation treatment device. Huiheng Medical Inc. would employ up to 300 people at salaries of up to $75,000 if the Food and Drug Administration approves the device, the company's chief executive, Xiaobing Hui said Tuesday through an interpreter.


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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