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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Deal Could Yield Years Of Labor Peace For Boeing

December 7, 2011 4:31 am | by Gene Johnson, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Some unionized workers at Boeing say they hope their vote Wednesday on a four-year contract extension augurs a new, peaceful era in their relations with the company. The Machinists union announced last week that it reached a tentative deal following secret talks initiated by the company.


AL Considers Inmates To Replace Immigrant Labor

December 7, 2011 4:30 am | by Jay Reeves, Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama agriculture officials are considering whether prisoners can fill a chronic labor shortage the farm agency blames on the state's new law against illegal immigration. Brett Hall, a deputy commissioner with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, said planting season is coming up in south Alabama, and some growers fear most of their usual workers have left the state because of the law.


Coolant Leak Likely Caused Volt Fires

December 7, 2011 4:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The liquid solution that cools the Chevrolet Volt's batteries is the likely cause of fires that broke out inside the electric car after government crash tests, a person briefed on the matter said. Engineers at General Motors Co., which makes the much-celebrated car, are working on structural changes to strengthen the car's T-shaped battery pack, the person said.


Saab Says Its Salvage Process Is In Jeopardy

December 7, 2011 4:25 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The owner of Saab Automobile says its court-appointed administrator doesn't think the cash-strapped car company has a future and has applied to end the salvage process. Saab, owned by the Netherlands-based Swedish Automobile N.V., said Wednesday the court has given it less than a week to come up with a plan or be declared bankrupt.


Bal Seal Plans $45M CO Plant

December 6, 2011 8:28 am

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A California-based manufacturer plans to build a new plant in Colorado Springs. Bal Seal Engineering announced the $45 million project on Tuesday. It expects to hire 210 people to work in the plant when it's finished in early 2013. Bal Seal is a privately-held company based in Foothill Ranch, Calif.


The Dodge Dart Makes A Comeback

December 6, 2011 8:24 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Dodge Dart, a 1960s compact car that gearheads turned into street racers, is making a comeback. Chrysler said Tuesday that it will use the Dart name for a new compact car based on Italian technology that it will introduce in the U.S. next year. The Dart, which is expected to get 40 miles per gallon of gas on the highway, is an extremely important car for Chrysler Group LLC, which currently has outdated offerings in the fast-growing compact car market.


Microsoft, Hitachi Announce Venture In Fargo

December 6, 2011 8:22 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A worldwide consulting and technology services company that plans to join forces with Microsoft Corp. says it was attracted to Fargo partly by the way residents reacted to a record-setting flood in 2009. Microsoft officials announced Monday that Hitachi Consulting has been selected to help develop new software for the Microsoft business group based in Fargo.

Ford Invests $128M To Shift Production To OH

December 6, 2011 8:19 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its $128 million investment at an Ohio plant will protect nearly 2,000 jobs and shift medium-duty truck production from Mexico. Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), on hand Tuesday at the Ford plant in Avon Lake west of Cleveland, says it shows manufacturing is reviving.


Verizon Nixes Google Wallet In New Phone

December 6, 2011 8:16 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless is blocking Google's new flagship phone from supporting Google's attempt to make the smartphone the credit card of the future. In blocking the Google Wallet software from running on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Verizon Wireless said Tuesday that it was waiting to provide a wallet application until it can offer "the best security and user experience.

EU In Antitrust Probe Of Apple, e-Book Publishers

December 6, 2011 8:11 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog is probing whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when it launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010. The probe, announced Tuesday by the European Commission, offers a glimpse into the fierce fight for shares of the growing e-book market, especially as Apple has tried to take on Amazon and its Kindle e-book reader.

Cutbacks To Make 'Snail Mail' Slower

December 6, 2011 4:36 am | by Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Already mocked by some as "snail mail," first-class U.S. mail will slow even more by next spring under plans by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to eliminate more than 250 processing centers. Nearly 30,000 workers would be laid off, too, as the post office struggles to respond to a shift to online communication and bill payments.

Recliner Maker Plans MS Expansion

December 6, 2011 4:35 am

BALDWYN, Miss. (AP) — Reclining furniture manufacturer Southern Motion has announced it is moving into a vacant 192,500-square-foot building in Baldwyn for a new line of upholstered recliners. Southern Motion President Roger Blandolf says in a statement that the move represents an investment of $3 million and will create 150 new jobs over the next three years.

WI Firm Reverses 1-Way Flow Of Shoes From Asia

December 6, 2011 4:33 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — There's a good chance the shoes you're wearing right now were made in China. Now an American shoemaker wants to put the shoe on the other foot, by persuading the Chinese to wear shoes made in the USA. The Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., whose high-end shoes have been worn by U.

Navy Spending $12M On Biofuels Order

December 6, 2011 4:31 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy is spending $12 million to buy 425,000 gallons of fuel made from cooking oil and algae that will be used to power vessels and ships in a training exercise. The government ordered the fuel from a joint venture between poultry producer Tyson Foods Inc.


China Braces As European Crisis Adds To Strains

December 6, 2011 4:27 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Europe's festering debt crisis is adding to strains on China just as the country is pricking its property bubble and facing a manufacturing downturn, limiting the ability of the world's No. 2 economy to prop up global growth. Leaders in Europe are navigating a crucial week as they work to find a breakthrough at a summit Friday to avoid the disintegration of the euro common currency and the global financial panic that could ensue.

Probe Finds Elaborate Cover-Up At 'Rotten' Olympus

December 6, 2011 4:24 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — A panel probing an accounting scandal at Japan's Olympus Corp. said Tuesday an elaborate scheme to cover up $1.5 billion of investment losses was orchestrated by a group of top executives who were "rotten to the core." The panel also credited the company's ex-CEO, Michael Woodford, for bringing the deception at the camera and medical equipment maker to light.

State, College To Help Fill Jobs At Yogurt Plant

December 5, 2011 8:42 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Representatives with the Idaho Department of Labor and College of Southern Idaho plan to visit the headquarters of New York-based Agro Farma to learn what kind of skills workers will need at a Chobani yogurt plant that will create 400 jobs when it opens sometime next year in Twin Falls.


GE Signs $300M Saudi Arabia Gas Turbines Deal

December 5, 2011 8:40 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Monday that it signed a $300 million deal for natural gas turbines with Saudi Arabia's state-run utility as it expands six power plants. GE has supplied nearly 200 turbines to Saudi Electricity Co. over the last five years. In the latest deal, the utility will buy 13 turbines and related technical services.


Toyota To Start Shipping U.S.-Built Camry To Korea

December 5, 2011 8:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota said Monday that it plans to export U.S.-built Camry sedans to its distributor in South Korea. The Japanese automaker said it expects to initially export about 6,000 vehicles, which will be assembled at the automaker's plant in Georgetown, Ky. The Camry is one of Toyota's top-selling cars, both in the United States and globally.


Stealthy Cellphone Software Stirs Outcry

December 5, 2011 8:35 am | by Jordan Robertson, Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Technology bloggers are asking if our cellphones are spying on us after a security researcher said a piece of software hidden on millions of phones was recording virtually everything people do with them. Amid a broad outcry, Sen. Al Franken is calling for an investigation.


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