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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

More Than 2M Workers Strike In Indonesia

October 3, 2012 10:15 am | by The Associated Press

More than 2 million factory workers went on a one-day strike across Indonesia on Wednesday to demand better benefits and protest the hiring of contract workers, union officials said. Hundreds of thousands of laborers from more than 700 companies in 80 industrial estates also took to the streets to demonstrate, national police spokesman Col. Agus Rianto said.


Auto Sales, Home Prices Help Buoy Weak Economy

October 3, 2012 10:12 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers

The U.S. economy is looking more resilient, thanks in part to encouraging signs for the two most expensive purchases most Americans make: cars and homes. Cheap loans and a bounty of fuel-efficient models enticed people to buy new vehicles at a brisk pace last month. And the nation enjoyed another year-over-year surge in home prices in August — a sign that the housing industry is making a sustained comeback.


Hallmark Cards To Close Topeka Plant

October 3, 2012 10:10 am | by John Hanna, Associated Press

Hallmark Cards Inc. will close its Topeka manufacturing plant and shed about 300 jobs as it consolidates its Kansas operations at its remaining facilities in Lawrence and Leavenworth, the company announced Tuesday. The Kansas City, Mo.-based greeting card company said the number of people working at its Kansas plants will fall from about 1,300 now to about 1,000 when consolidation is finished by the end of next year.


EPA Signs Idaho Superfund Cleanup Plan

October 3, 2012 10:07 am | by John Miller, Associated Press

Federal regulators signed documents on Tuesday outlining an interim cleanup plan for a polluted southeastern Idaho Superfund site they say will cost $57 million and take up to five years to complete. The Environmental Protection Agency said it opted to move forward with the plan for FMC Corp.'s former plant near Pocatello, but reserved the right to make changes, if necessary.


Judge Lifts U.S. Ban On Sales Of Samsung Tablet

October 3, 2012 10:05 am | by The Associated Press

A federal judge has lifted a ban on sales of Samsung Electronics Corp.'s Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled Monday the South Korean technology giant is now free to start selling the product in American stores.


AFL-CIO Endorses American Crystal Sugar Boycott

October 2, 2012 2:32 pm | by The Associated Press

The AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide consumer boycott of American Crystal Sugar products to protest its 14-month lockout of union workers. In a statement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says they hope the boycott encourages Crystal Sugar to respect the workers who made it an industry leader.


Boeing Engineers Union Rejects Contract Offer

October 2, 2012 2:31 pm | by Phuong Le, Associated Press

Boeing Co.'s union of engineers and technical workers overwhelmingly rejected the aerospace giant's first contract offer in ballots tallied Monday night. Union leaders for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA, had recommended that the union's 23,000 members say no to Boeing's four-year contract offer.


Ford Sales Flat, GM Sales Up 1.5 Percent

October 2, 2012 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales were flat in September as increases in sales of cars and SUVs were weighed down by lower truck sales. General Motors says its U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent last month as a big jump in car sales was offset by falling truck sales.


NJ Glassmaker Settles Air Pollution Allegations

October 2, 2012 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press

Federal and state officials say a southern New Jersey glass manufacturer has agreed to pay $300,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated air pollution standards. Durand Glass Manufacturing Co. made no admission of violations under the agreement announced Monday. The settlement, though, won't take effect until a federal judge approves it.


Samsung Motions To Add iPhone 5 To Patent Case

October 2, 2012 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. says it has filed a motion with a U.S. court to add Apple's iPhone 5 to their ongoing patent battle. Samsung says it filed the motion Monday with the California court, alleging that Apple's new phone infringes on eight of its patents.


J&J To Expand Puerto Rico Factories

October 2, 2012 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press

Johnson & Johnson is expanding operations in Puerto Rico. The company and the governor of the U.S. island territory jointly announced an expansion of four existing plants that will add 308 jobs. A Johnson & Johnson spokesman said the company based in New Brunswick, New Jersey would invest up to $225 million to add capacity at two plants in the town of Gurabo and one each in Manati and San Lorenzo.


Chrysler Reports Best September In Five Years

October 2, 2012 10:30 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose almost 12 percent last month as the company reported its best September in five years. The increase from a year earlier was fueled by new models, low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, the company said. Its sales chief predicted that September sales for the industry would reach an annual rate of 14.9 million, making it the best month since March of 2008.


Fisker Looking To Form Alliances To Share Costs

October 2, 2012 10:29 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Electric car maker Fisker Automotive is talking with other car companies about sharing parts and technology. The company, based in Anaheim, Calif., is also preparing for a public offering of stock that would help it raise money for new vehicles, Fisker's new CEO Tony Posawatz said Monday during a speech to the Automotive Press Association.

Suzuki's India Unit Sees Sales Recover To Pre-Riot Level

October 2, 2012 10:27 am | by The Associated Press

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the Indian arm of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp., said Monday its domestic sales in September grew 12.7 percent from a year earlier to 88,801 new cars, after a sharp 35 percent drop in August affected by worker violence.

Bernanke Makes Strong Defense Of Fed Rate Policies

October 2, 2012 10:25 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a wide-ranging defense Monday of the Federal Reserve's aggressive policies to stimulate the still-weak economy. The Fed needs to drive down long-term borrowing rates because the economy isn't growing fast enough to reduce high unemployment, Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of Indiana. The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent.


CAT Plans Late-Year Shutdown In Decatur

October 2, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press

Days after saying it is worried about the slow pace of the global economy Caterpillar Inc. says it will shut down parts of its operations in Decatur for a week in November and all of December as demand for some products drops. The Peoria-based construction- and mining-equipment company on Monday called the layoffs temporary.

Industrial Metals Higher On Mixed Economic News

October 2, 2012 10:22 am | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer

Prices are higher for industrial metals as positive signs emerged from a batch of global economic news. Copper for December delivery gained 2.75 cents to finish at $3.7855 per pound. Platinum, palladium and silver also rose. The new reports showed that U.S. manufacturing activity improved, overall U.S. construction spending dropped and China's manufacturing activity remained anemic.


U.S. Manufacturing Grows For 1st Time In 4 Months

October 1, 2012 2:05 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

U.S. manufacturing grew for the first time in four months, buoyed by a jump in new orders and more jobs. The increase is a hopeful sign that the economy may be improving after a weak stretch. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of factory activity rose to 51.5. That's up from 49.6 in August.


Fire Destroys Arkansas Plastics Factory

October 1, 2012 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press

Authorities say an east Arkansas plastics factory was destroyed in a weekend fire. The K-Tops Plastics Manufacturing factory in Colt went up in flames Saturday night. Colt Fire Chief Jim Haynes says it was unsafe to send the firefighters inside because the blaze was so powerful.


Honda Recalls 600,000 Accords To Fix Faulty Hoses

October 1, 2012 2:02 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Honda is recalling 600,000 Accord midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a faulty power steering hose that can leak fluid and cause a fire. The recall affects Accords with V-6 engines from the 2003 through 2007 model years. Honda has a report of one fire but no injuries or crashes.



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