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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota To Make Hybrid Components Overseas

September 19, 2011 5:28 am

NAGOYA, Sept. 17 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. is considering manufacturing key components for gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles at some of its overseas plants in the United States and Asia to improve its profitability hurt by the strong yen, company sources said Saturday. Production of such parts in the United States and Asian countries would expand the Japanese automaker's earlier plan to make hybrid components in China.

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OSHA Fines Company After Man Crushed By Bin

September 19, 2011 5:25 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Federal labor officials want to impose $7,000 in fines against a Canadian company after the August death of a worker at a Fargo industrial park. KFGO radio reports (http://bit.ly/oJXoOl ) that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed the fines last week.

Obama Signs Major Patent Law Change

September 19, 2011 5:21 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a major overhaul of the nation's patent system to ease the way for inventors to bring their products to market. "We can't afford to drag our feet any longer," he said. Passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, the America Invents Act is the first significant change in patent law since 1952.

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UAW, GM Agree On New Contract

September 19, 2011 5:18 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses and the possibility of sweeter profit-sharing checks as part of a new four-year contract with General Motors Co., two people briefed on the talks said Saturday. The deal, which was reached late Friday, also includes a $2- to $3-per-hour pay raise for entry-level workers over the life of the contract and guarantees of more union jobs, the people said.

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202 To Lose Jobs At MO Briggs & Stratton Plant

September 16, 2011 7:13 am

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) — A large southeast Missouri employer is cutting more than 200 jobs. The Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic (http://bit.ly/neW1pb ) reports that lawnmower maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. said Thursday it will lay off 202 workers at the Poplar Bluff plant starting Oct.

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SC Electronics Plant To Cut 15 Percent Of Workers

September 16, 2011 7:11 am

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — An electronics plant in Rock Hill is releasing about 15 percent of its staff. The Herald of Rock Hill reported Friday that TE Connectivity has eliminated 57 jobs at the plant that makes electronic connectors. Company spokesman Mike Ratcliff says the reductions come because of a restructuring and a slowdown in business.

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Gov, GM Talk TN Expansion

September 16, 2011 7:05 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam's office confirmed Thursday that the state is in talks with General Motors to expand production at the automaker's Tennessee plant. The state's economic development chief, Bill Hagerty, was in Detroit to meet with GM officials, as were mayors representing communities surrounding the Spring Hill plant that stopped assembling the Chevrolet Traverse in 2009.

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Alcoa To Invest $300M In New Jobs, Plant

September 16, 2011 7:02 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Alcoa Inc. will invest $300 million to expand and add 150 jobs to its Davenport plant to meet the growing demand for demand from the automotive industry as automakers work to meet federal guidelines for increasing gas mileage and lowering emissions, company officials announced Thursday.

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PA Unemployment Made Largest Jump In Two Years

September 16, 2011 7:00 am

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's unemployment rate increased substantially in August as the national economy slowed, jumping by the largest amount in more than two years, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday. The jobless rate increased from 7.8 percent in July to 8.

UAW, GM Agreement May Be Near

September 16, 2011 6:57 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — It looks like the United Auto Workers union and General Motors Co. are nearing an agreement on a new contract. UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, the union's chief negotiator, told workers in an email update Friday that bargainers are getting "very close" to the framework of a deal.

Sikorsky To Trim Workforce Worldwide

September 16, 2011 5:40 am | by Susan Haigh, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced on Thursday that it is trimming its worldwide workforce of 18,000 by about 540 jobs to remain competitive in the helicopter design, manufacturing and service industry. Paul Jackson, the company's director of communications, called the move to cut about 3 percent of the workforce "a difficult decision.

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Locked-Out Armstrong Workers Reject Contract

September 16, 2011 5:19 am

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) — Workers at a central Pennsylvania ceiling tile plant have overwhelmingly rejected the company's contract offer. Union workers have been locked out of the Armstrong World Industries plant in Marietta, Lancaster County since July 17. About 85 percent of the plant's 260 workers on Thursday voted 'no' to the contract offer on Thursday.

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General Dynamics Wins $1.8B Navy Contract

September 16, 2011 5:18 am

BATH, Maine (AP) — General Dynamics Corp. said Thursday that the U.S. Navy awarded its shipbuilding subsidiary a $1.8 billion contract to build the next two in a series of new destroyers. The so-called Zumwalt-class warships are scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015 and 2018.

Air France Orders 50 Boeing, Airbus Planes

September 16, 2011 5:17 am

PARIS (AP) — Air France-KLM says it has ordered 50 long-haul planes from Airbus and Boeing and has the option to buy another 60. Europe's largest airline by passengers said Friday that the order was for Airbus' A350-900 and Boeing's 787-9 planes. The order is for 25 planes from each of the rival manufacturers and will be finalized by the end of the year.

Johnson Controls Shanghai Investigated For Lead Poisoning

September 16, 2011 5:12 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Shanghai's environmental watchdog ordered two factories in its suburbs to halt production pending an investigation into the source of lead poisoning among children in a nearby village. The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said in a notice on its website Friday that it was studying lead emissions from the two factories, one of which is a large lead-acid battery plant run by U.

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Volkswagen Plans To Invest $85B In Tech

September 16, 2011 5:09 am

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen AG says it plans to invest €62 billion ($85.5 billion) in innovation and technology projects, primarily in Germany. Europe's largest automaker said Friday the investment between 2012 and 2016 will focus on the development of more environmentally friendly cars like hybrids and electric vehicles, new drive systems and the modularization of production.

Honeywell Boosts Copper, Tin Refining Capacity

September 15, 2011 9:21 am

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Honeywell International Inc. said Thursday that its electronic materials division will more than double its refining and casting capacity for high-purity copper and tin at one of its plants to meet rising demand from the semiconductor industry. Demand for high-purity copper for advanced chip designs continues to increase, the Morristown, N.

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House Passes Bill Targeting Boeing Labor Case

September 15, 2011 9:07 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-dominated House approved a bill Thursday that would undercut the government's labor dispute with Boeing Co., wading into a case that has angered business groups and become a major political issue in the GOP presidential primary. The measure, approved on a 238 to 186 vote, would ban the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to shut down plants or relocate work, even if a company violates labor laws.

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August Consumer Prices Rose On Higher Food, Energy Costs

September 15, 2011 8:57 am

Consumer Prices Rose 0.4 Percent in August on Higher Food and Energy Costs The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent in August, building on last month’s 0.5 percent increase . Once again, higher energy costs led the way, up 1.2 percent for the month.

Michigan Jobless Rate Up 0.3 Points To 11.2 Percent

September 15, 2011 8:51 am

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 11.2 percent in the latest monthly figures, the state announced Wednesday. The state's unemployment rate in August continued to exceed the nationwide rate, which was 9.1 percent in August, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

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