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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

After Immigration Crackdown, Producers Mull Changes

January 20, 2012 3:43 am | by Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — It's unclear whether farmers in Georgia and Alabama will face a shortage of workers due to tough new laws targeting illegal immigration, but some producers said they have begun changing their plans for planting and harvesting this year's crops. Some farmers said they might reduce the number of acres they plant or shift to less labor-intensive crops, while others are bracing for higher labor prices and have turned to new recruiting tools to attract workers.

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Unions See Super Bowl Leverage In Labor Battle

January 20, 2012 3:39 am | by Tom LoBianco, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Facing a legislative vote that would make Indiana a right-to-work state, alarmed union members are thinking about making their case on perhaps the nation's biggest stage — the Super Bowl. Labor activists are deciding whether to go ahead with protests that could include Teamsters clogging city streets with trucks and electricians staging a slowdown at the convention center site of the NFL village.

GM Retakes Title Of Top-Selling Global Automaker

January 20, 2012 3:37 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. has retaken the title of world's top-selling automaker, selling just over 9 million cars and trucks across the globe. The company said Thursday that it sold 9.03 million vehicles worldwide last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010. That's more than 1 million better than Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.

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TN To Make Trade Mission To China, South Korea

January 19, 2012 8:37 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state trade mission to China and South Korea in April will focus on Tennessee's medical device manufacturers and other health care companies. The state announced Wednesday that Commissioner Bill Hagerty of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will lead the trip April 15 to 21.

Olympus To Revive Brand With Digital Camera

January 19, 2012 8:35 am

TOKYO, Jan. 19 (Kyodo) — Olympus Corp. plans to revive its once popular OM camera brand for its new digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera this spring, industry sources said Thursday. The company is hoping that the new product will come to symbolize its recovery from the recent scandal involving its coverup of investment losses, they said.

GM CEO To Testify On Volt Fires

January 19, 2012 8:33 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has agreed to testify before a U.S. House subcommittee about battery fires in Chevrolet Volt electric cars. Company spokesman Greg Martin says Akerson will speak to a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Jan.

Airbus Says New Cracks Found In A380 Wing

January 19, 2012 8:27 am

PARIS (AP) — Airbus found new cracks on metal brackets inside the wings of two A380 superjumbo jets after inspections launched following the 2010 incident in which a Qantas A380's engine disintegrated in flight, the company said Thursday. The cracks were found "on a limited number of non-critical brackets inside the wings of some A380s," Airbus said in a statement.

Former Trailblazer Kodak Files For Chapter 11

January 19, 2012 8:24 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Kodak's moment has come and gone. The glory days when Eastman Kodak Co. ruled the world of film photography lasted for over a century. Then came a stunning reversal of fortune: cutthroat competition from Japanese firms in the 1980s and a seismic shift to the digital technology it pioneered but couldn't capitalize on.

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Ford Workers To Get Raises, Bonuses

January 19, 2012 8:22 am

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is showing confidence in its turnaround and the U.S. economy by giving pay raises and bonuses to 20,000 white-collar workers mainly in the U.S. and Canada. Workers got letters from President of the Americas Mark Fields last week saying they'll get 2.

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Currency Woes May Hurt Beverage Makers

January 18, 2012 8:39 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Pressure on beverage makers is intensifying because of the tough economy in Europe and the dollar's increasing strength against the euro, Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson said Wednesday. THE OPINION: Consumers in Europe are likely to continue to keep sales at a sluggish pace for beverage makers, Nicholson wrote in a research note.

Takeda Plans 2,800 Job Cuts

January 18, 2012 8:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which recently bought Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, says it will cut 2,800 jobs, or about 9 percent of its workforce, over the next five years. Takeda says it will cut 2,100 jobs in Europe and 700 in the U.S., and it also plans to combine or eliminate some subsidiaries, mostly in Europe.

Moscow Threatens To Ignore U.S. Trade Rules

January 18, 2012 8:32 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will not abide by its World Trade Organization commitments with the U.S. unless Washington scraps a trade law that dates back to the Cold War, the foreign minister said Wednesday. The Jackson-Vanik law, which was passed in 1974 and denies Russia normal trade relations status, has been a political sticking point in the countries' trade relations for years.

tC Remains Top Scion Seller

January 18, 2012 8:30 am | by Ann M. Job

A more powerful and more fuel efficient engine as well as new styling helped boost sales of the three-door Scion tC by 47 percent last year from the year-earlier period. The long-established sales leader of Toyota's youthful Scion brand also received five out of five stars in its overall crash test rating by the federal government.

Google's Plans For Warp-Speed Internet Hits Snag

January 18, 2012 8:25 am

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Google's plans to launch a super-speed Internet project in Kansas City, Kan., have hit a snag because of questions about where and how to hang its wires and what fees or installation costs may be required. Google announced nine months ago that it hoped to begin service on its gigabit-per-second Internet connections to Kansas City, Kan.

Airbus Announces 2012 Price Hikes

January 18, 2012 8:22 am

PARIS (AP) — Airbus says it's raising prices by an average of 6.1 percent on its A320neo family of short- and medium-haul single aisle jets that airlines ordered in record numbers last year. The A320neo lists for €96.7 million each but airlines negotiate discounts for bulk orders.

Steve Jobs Action Figure Pulled From Market

January 18, 2012 4:23 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The company that began advertising for an incredibly lifelike Steve Jobs doll won't sell the figurines after all because of pressure from family and Apple lawyers. In Icons had planned to offer the 1-foot-tall, lifelike figure dressed in Jobs' trademark black mock turtleneck, rimless glasses and jeans.

Lockheed Martin Acquires Autopilot System Maker

January 18, 2012 4:22 am

BETHESDA, Md., (AP) — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday it acquired Procerus Technologies, which makes autopilot systems and other electronic systems used in very small unmanned aircraft. The companies did not disclose terms of the purchase, but Lockheed Martin said they "are not material" to its results.

Factory Output Soared In December

January 18, 2012 4:20 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output surged in December by the most in year. Stronger demand for business equipment, vehicles and energy offered the most visible evidence that manufacturing has roared back from the depths of the recession. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing increased 0.

Swedish Automobile In Push For Survival

January 18, 2012 4:18 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Swedish Automobile NV, the parent company of Dutch luxury car maker Spyker and the now-bankrupt Saab Automobile, says it will push on with the sale of the Spyker brand and issue new shares in a bid for survival, in spite of an exodus of its supervisory board. The company, known as "Swan", said Wednesday that it was in negotiations to sell Spyker.

Electrolux Commits To Giving Minority Contracts

January 18, 2012 4:15 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Electrolux is committed to awarding contracts to local companies and firms owned by minorities and women for construction of its $266 million kitchen appliances manufacturing plant in Memphis, officials said Tuesday. Electrolux detailed the steps it is taking to give contracts for the construction project during a Tuesday morning news conference attended by the mayors of Memphis and surrounding Shelby County.

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