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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Few Americans Take Immigrants' Jobs In AL

October 21, 2011 5:12 am | by Alicia A. Caldwell, Jay Reeves, Associated Press

ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) — Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn't worked out: Most show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by midafternoon.

Mitsubishi Fuso To Recall Trucks Again After Repair Error

October 21, 2011 5:09 am

TOKYO, Oct. 20 (Kyodo) — Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. will recall about 380 trucks for a third time to replace a defective part that prompted the first recall -- only to be reinstalled during a second recall to fix another problem, the transport ministry said Thursday. The trucks are part of about 46,000 trucks of the Super Great and The Great models which were recalled in 2005 and 2007 to change a defective clutch part which could make it impossible to shift gears or drive.

Man Dies Of Injuries After Falling At WV Plant

October 21, 2011 5:06 am

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has died from injuries suffered in a fall at a Buckhannon wood products plant. The Inter-Mountain (http://bit.ly/pGSJjs ) reports that 44-year-old Mike Atkinson fell 40 feet to the bottom of a silo Monday while doing routine maintenance a the Weyerhaeuser plant, which was shut down at the time.

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U.S. Economy Shows Signs Of Health After Slump

October 21, 2011 5:04 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy appears slightly healthier than many had feared it was a few weeks ago, raising hopes that it can end the year on an upward slope. A raft of data Thursday show layoffs are trending down to a six-month low and factories in the Mid-Atlantic are growing again after contracting for two months.

Saab Reorganization In Jeopardy

October 20, 2011 9:29 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The owner of Saab Automobile says the administrator of the cash-strapped car maker's reorganization under bankruptcy protection wants to terminate the process. Swedish Automobile N.V., the Netherlands-based company that owns Saab, said Thursday that lawyer Guy Lofalk will file an application to end the reorganization process to a Swedish court.

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U.S. Solar Firms File Trade Complaint Against China

October 20, 2011 9:28 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of seven U.S. solar panel companies filed a federal trade complaint Wednesday against Chinese companies they accuse of "dumping" solar products on global markets to depress prices. The U.S. solar companies filed their case with the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission.

Ford: UAW Deal Raises Yearly Costs Minimally

October 20, 2011 9:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A new contract between Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union will raise the automaker's labor costs by less than 1 percent a year, reaching a company goal of holding costs fairly steady, executives said Thursday. The four-year deal will raise costs by $280 million this year and around $80 million per year after that, but the increases will be offset by higher factory efficiency, other wage and benefit changes, and by hiring more workers at lower wages, the executives told reporters and industry analysts.

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Fire Engulfs AR Fake Fingernail Factory

October 20, 2011 9:23 am

MAUMELLE, Ark. (AP) — A factory that produces artificial fingernails and related products in central Arkansas caught fire Thursday morning, prompting employees to evacuate the plant and several nearby small businesses. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said 40,000 gallons of acetone was burning at the Onyx Laboratories plant in Maumelle, just north of Little Rock.

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China Rare Earths Supplier Suspends Production

October 20, 2011 9:21 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other high-tech products. This week's move by Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech might fuel tensions with the United States and Europe.

FDA Blames Dirty Equipment In Listeria Outbreak

October 20, 2011 9:17 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment at a Colorado farm's cantaloupe-packing facility were probably to blame for the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Government investigators found positive samples of listeria bacteria on equipment in the Jensen Farms packing facility and on fruit that had been held there.

Green Mountain Plans VT Expansion

October 19, 2011 9:26 am

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which faced sharp criticism from hedge fund manager David Einhorn earlier this week, said Tuesday that it may add about 400 workers in Vermont over the next year to 18 months. The maker of the Keurig single-cup coffee machines says it could add 30 percent more employees in Vermont as it looks to lease more office space and expand new plants.

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GE To Add 160 Jobs In PA, Invest $136M

October 19, 2011 9:23 am | by The Associated Press

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — General Electric Co.'s GE Transportation unit said Tuesday that it will hire about 160 new employees in Erie, Pa. by the end of the year and invest $136 million in manufacturing improvements and site upgrades at the unit's headquarters. The company said it plans to hire the production workers by the end of the year to meet rising demand for mining equipment in the United States and worldwide.

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Chrysler's Largest UAW Local Approves New Contract

October 19, 2011 9:21 am

DETROIT (AP) — Workers at Chrysler's largest United Auto Workers local have voted in favor of a new four-year contract. Committeeman Bobby Jackson says United Auto Workers Local 685 in Kokomo, Ind., voted for the deal on Tuesday. Vote totals were not available. The vote is a sign that the contract is likely to be approved in voting that ends next week.

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Home Building Jumps 15 Percent In September

October 19, 2011 9:19 am | by Derek Kravitz, AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home builders started projects in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the economy. Most of the gain was driven by a surge in volatile apartment construction. That could help create jobs and boost economic growth, but it doesn't signal a comeback for the depressed housing market.

Tiny U.S. Phone Company Is Getting iPhone

October 19, 2011 9:18 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. said Tuesday that C Spire Wireless, the country's eighth-largest phone company, will start selling the iPhone 4S in a few weeks. That's a major coup for the small company, which provides service in Mississippi and surrounding states. So far, only the three biggest carriers sell the iPhone in the U.

Canada Objects To 'Buy American' In Jobs Bill

October 19, 2011 9:14 am

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's trade minister said Tuesday he's concerned about comments by the U.S. ambassador to Canada defending the "Buy American" provisions in President Barack Obama's jobs bill. Similar provisions in a bill two years ago became a major irritant in trade relations between the United States and Canada, its largest trading partner In a speech Tuesday, Ambassador David Jacobson said the "Buy American" provisions are necessary if parts of the bill have any chance of passage through a fractious U.

Sealevel To Provide GE With COM Express Carrier Designs

October 19, 2011 7:27 am

Sealevel Systems, Inc. has announced that it will provide advanced custom carrier board designs for GE’s family of COM Express embedded processor modules. Sealevel, known for its expertise in I/O and connectivity, will design and manufacture high performance custom carrier boards and industrial computers based on the GE Intelligent Platforms COM Express modules for GE Intelligent Platforms’ OEM customers.

Chrysler Plans $165M MI Plant Investment

October 19, 2011 4:33 am

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A body shop will be added to Chrysler's Sterling Heights Assembly Plant as part of a $165 million investment. Chrysler Group LLC says Tuesday in a release that the new body shop will add more than a million square feet to the plant and will build future products starting in 2013.

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Report: 64,000 In MA Have "Clean Energy" Jobs

October 19, 2011 4:31 am

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts energy officials are pointing to what they say is significant job growth in the state's renewable energy sector. A report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center estimates there are now more than 64,000 people in the state working in the so-called "clean energy" economy — or about 1.

Fire Damages IA Farm Equipment Plant

October 19, 2011 4:29 am

CLEGHORN, Iowa (AP) — A fire has caused significant damage to a farm equipment plant in the northwest Iowa town of Cleghorn. According to KTIV-TV (http://bit.ly/rpzddP ), the fire broke out early Tuesday morning at Wetherell Manufacturing, which makes hydraulic cylinders and sprayers for farm equipment.

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