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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

IN Dems: Voters Should Decide Right-To-Work

January 13, 2012 7:52 am | by Tom LoBianco, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana House Democrats want voters to decide the fate of a right-to-work bill or else they'll continue stall tactics designed to derail the contentious legislation, the House minority leader said Friday. A statewide referendum should decide whether Indiana will become the 23rd state to ban union contracts that include mandatory representation fees, House Democratic leader Patrick Bauer said.

November Trade Deficit Hits $47.8B

January 13, 2012 7:50 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in November for the first time in five months, largely because of a spike in the price of imported oil. Still, exports fell for a second straight month, a sign that Europe's slowdown has begun to affect the U.S. economy. The trade gap rose 10.

Man Sentenced For Selling Dow Secrets To China

January 13, 2012 7:47 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A retired Dow Chemical Co. research scientist has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his conviction on charges that he stole trade secrets from Dow's Plaquemine plant and sold them to companies in China. The Advocate reports ( ) 75-year-old Wen Chyu Liu, also known as David Liou, was sentenced Wednesday U.


Bankrupt Solyndra Eyes Employee Bonuses

January 13, 2012 7:45 am

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A California solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the federal government before declaring bankruptcy is asking a Delaware judge to approve up to $500,000 in employee bonuses. A hearing on the request by Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif.

Japan To Reduce Iran Oil Imports, Support U.S.

January 13, 2012 4:00 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan gave a boost Thursday to the U.S. campaign to sanction Iran over its nuclear program, pledging to buy less Iranian oil, a day after China reacted coolly to the U.S. effort. Iran's "nuclear development problem can't be ignored by the world, so from that perspective we understand the U.


Novartis To Cut Nearly 2,000 U.S. Jobs

January 13, 2012 3:59 am

GENEVA (AP) — Drug maker Novartis will cut 1,960 jobs in the United States this year in anticipation of lower sales for two of its hypertension drugs, the Swiss company said Friday. Basel-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said the cuts will affect 1,630 sales positions in the field and 330 posts at its U.


Survey Shows 2011 Economy Ended Strong

January 13, 2012 3:57 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The final weeks of 2011 were among the U.S. economy's strongest as Americans shopped and traveled more, ending the year with a shot of optimism for 2012. That's the bright picture the Federal Reserve sketched in a survey released Wednesday. It said all but one of its 12 banking districts experienced some growth from late November through the end of the year.

BMW To Add 300 Jobs With $900M Investment

January 13, 2012 3:54 am | by Susanne M. Schafer, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — BMW said Thursday it will add 300 new jobs at its South Carolina plant and make a $900 million investment to expand the factory over the next three years, continuing a recent trend of automakers boosting their U.S. operations to help meet growing global demand. Officials for the German automaker said the move will boost production at the plant, BMW's only one in the United States, to at least 300,000 cars this year from 276,065 in 2011 and include the introduction of its new X4 crossover.


New Sensation: Phones That Let You Feel

January 13, 2012 3:52 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sure, today's phones can deliver the sound of a heartbeat. But how would you like to actually feel the throbbing? A few companies want to replace the crude vibration motors in today's phones and tablets with something that provides a much wider range of sensations, allowing you to feel the rumble of a Harley or the reverberation of a shotgun blast.

Apple Store Egged After New iPhone Delayed

January 13, 2012 3:49 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Angry customers and gangs of scalpers threw eggs at Apple Inc.'s Beijing store Friday after the iPhone 4S launch there was canceled due to concerns over the crowd's size. Apple reacted to the outburst by postponing iPhone 4S sales in its mainland China stores to protect customers and employees.

NC Freightliner Factory To Add 1,100 Jobs

January 12, 2012 6:02 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press

CLEVELAND, N.C. (AP) — Daimler Trucks North America has announced it will hire 1,100 workers to build long-distance trucks at its NC Freightliner plant as it bulks up after the recession. The company made the announcement Thursday at the factory in the Rowan County town of Cleveland.


China Auto Sales Slow

January 12, 2012 5:58 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Vehicle sales in China rose a scant 2.5 percent in 2011, the slowest growth in over a decade, as higher prices and traffic controls kept buyers out of showrooms. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Thursday that total vehicle sales rose to 18.

Vestas To Lay Off More Than 2,300 Workers

January 12, 2012 5:55 am | by Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's biggest maker of wind turbines in terms of revenue, said Thursday it is to layoff 2,335 people worldwide and warned that an additional 1,600 jobs in the U.S. could be at risk if Congress doesn't extend tax breaks for renewable energy.

Union: Nike To Pay Indonesian Workers $1M

January 12, 2012 5:53 am

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Sports equipment maker Nike Inc. has agreed to give workers in Indonesia $1 million in unpaid overtime, employee representatives said Thursday. A national trade union representing nearly 4,500 employees from the PT Nikomas shoe plant in Banten province said Nike had failed to pay close to 600,000 hours over a two-year period.


Marchionne: Europe Needs To Cut Car Production

January 12, 2012 5:51 am

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday that Europe needs to cut 10 to 20 percent of its auto manufacturing capacity to deal with falling sales in the region. Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates Europe sold 13.5 million vehicles last year, down from a peak of 16 million in 2007.


Xbox Workers Threaten Suicide In Labor Tiff

January 12, 2012 5:47 am

BEIJING (AP) — Dozens of workers assembling Xbox video game consoles climbed to a factory dormitory roof, and some threatened to jump to their deaths, in a dispute over jobs that was defused but highlights growing labor unrest as China's economy slows. The dispute boiled over last week after contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group said it would close the production line for Microsoft Corp.


ITT Completes Expansion Of Brazil Facility

January 11, 2012 9:18 am

WHITE PLAINS, NY--ITT Corporation today announced that it has completed the upgrade and expansion of its facility in Salto, Brazil to better serve customers in the oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper, and general industrial markets. "Brazil and Latin America are important markets for ITT, and this project represents our commitment to expanding our global presence in key growth areas," said Robert Pagano Jr.


Drugmaker Plans 234 Terre Haute Jobs By 2016

January 11, 2012 8:29 am

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A California-based pharmaceutical company says it expects to hire 234 people by 2016 at a new operation on the site of a former Pfizer Inc. drug plant near Terre Haute. The Terre Haute Tribune-Star and WTHI-TV report officials with California-based NantWorks LLC told the Vigo County Department of Redevelopment on Tuesday that they plan to invest $120 million at the site in a southern Vigo County industrial park.


Motorola To Use Intel Chips In Smartphones

January 11, 2012 8:26 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Motorola Mobility and Lenovo on Tuesday said they will use Intel processors in smartphones and other devices, giving the chipmaker its first entry into a market it has long coveted. Intel Corp. has struggled to bring down the power consumption of its chips so that they can be used in phones without draining the battery in a matter of hours.

Obama To Reward Businesses That Invest In U.S.

January 11, 2012 8:24 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wants to reward companies that invest in America and eliminate tax breaks for companies that don't, and he's planning new tax proposals to do it. A day after his Republican foes competed in the New Hampshire primary, Obama sought to grab back the spotlight and underscore his focus on the economy by convening a White House forum on how to increase employment and bring back jobs that have fled overseas.


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