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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Anti-EPA Bill Threatened With Presidential Veto

June 9, 2010 4:40 am

by Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House raised the stakes Tuesday on the Senate's first major climate change vote of the year, threatening a presidential veto of a Republican-led effort to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying out regulations to control greenhouse gases.

Outbreaks Spur Hasty New Food Safety Laws

June 9, 2010 4:35 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A field worker has unwashed hands. An animal squeezes through a small tear in a fence. Manure from a nearby hog farm trickles into an irrigation system. Small mistakes like these are often difficult to identify as the sources of food-borne illnesses, a situation that has frustrated health authorities for years.

Second Natural Gas Explosion Hits Texas, Two Dead

June 9, 2010 4:32 am | by Betsey Blaney, Associated Press Writer

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — An explosion in the Texas Panhandle that killed two men was the second deadly blast in the state in two days involving workers who have accidentally hit natural gas lines. The blast Tuesday involved a crew that was removing caliche — commonly used in cement — from a pit for a dirt-contracting company, Lipscomb County Sheriff James Robertson said in a news release.

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Navistar Posts Surprise 2Q Profit

June 9, 2010 4:31 am

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Navistar International posted a surprise profit for the second quarter Wednesday on strong sales of trucks and a new structure that lowered material costs and shifted plant operations. Navistar more than doubled its net income, even as revenue dipped. "Our expectations are to be profitable across the business cycle," Chairman and CEO Daniel C.

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Wind-To-Fertilizer Plant Is A 'No-Brainer'

June 9, 2010 4:28 am | by Dirk Lammers, Associated Press Writer

MORRIS, Minn. (AP) — The winds sweeping across the Northern Plains could soon help farmers fertilize their crops of corn, wheat and sorghum. Minnesota researchers have designed a $3.75 million carbon-free system that uses wind power from a towering turbine to produce anhydrous ammonia, a common nitrogen-based fertilizer.

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Bernanke: No 'Double Dipping' On Recession

June 8, 2010 5:23 am

by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday he is hopeful the economy will gain traction and not fall back into a "double dip" recession. "My best guess is we will have a continued recovery, but it won't feel terrific," Bernanke said.

Honda's Chinese Suppliers Continue Strikes

June 8, 2010 5:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it was assessing the impact of a walkout by some workers at one of its parts suppliers in China, just days after resolving a strike that froze car production at four factories. The strike by some workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. in Foshan, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, began Monday morning, said company spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto.

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Hong Kong Protesters Picket Apple's Supply Chain

June 8, 2010 4:55 am | by Min Lee, Associated Press Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters picketed Foxconn's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor corporate ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories in mainland China. The 30 demonstrators held signs saying, "Workers are not machines.

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Ind. Trailer Maker Closes Plant, Fires 150 Workers

June 8, 2010 4:39 am

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana cargo trailer maker says it may close its plant in the city of Middlebury — a move that would cost 150 workers their jobs. Illinois-based Pace American Inc. notified the state of the possible closing late last week, saying it is in the process of selling its business operations and assets.

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Feds Offer $19 Million In Grants To Ex-NUMMI Workers

June 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Evelyn Nieves, Associated Press Writer

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday that the federal government will provide $19 million in emergency grants to help thousands of workers who lost their jobs when California's only auto plant closed. Solis said the money would be used to retrain workers at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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Manufacturing Jobs Ease Nationwide Economic Stress

June 8, 2010 4:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing job gains in the Midwest helped lower the nation's economic stress in April to its lowest point in five months, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. Contributing to the improvement were lower foreclosure rates in two states with beaten-down housing markets: California and Florida.

Hyundai's Indian Workers Continue Crippling Strike

June 8, 2010 4:28 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Police arrested some 200 workers occupying a Hyundai Motor plant as a strike stopped the automaker's Indian production for a second day, the latest in a series of union battles that have pushed the nation's No. 2 carmaker to move some production to Turkey. Hyundai spokesman Rajiv Mitra said police removed the workers from the factory shortly after midday Tuesday and arrested about 200.

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Chrysler Recalls 600,000 Jeeps, Minivans

June 7, 2010 5:02 am

DETROIT (AP) — Federal regulators say Chrysler is recalling nearly 600,000 Jeep Wranglers and Chrysler and Dodge minivans for brake or wiring problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website Monday that Chrysler is recalling 288,968 Jeep Wranglers from the 2006 through 2010 model years due to a potential brake fluid leak.

Why Is Nissan 'Manufacturing' A Gospel Choir?

June 7, 2010 4:46 am | by Maria Burnham, Associated Press Writer

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Automobile plants make a lot of noise with welding, stamping and paint machines. But at the Madison County Nissan plant, the new sound is the joyful kind. The plant's three-month old gospel choir has performed for company executives, state officials and the local community.

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Coca-Cola Pays $715 Million To Distribute Dr Pepper

June 7, 2010 4:36 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. will pay $715 million to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for the rights to distribute Dr Pepper and Canada Dry in the U.S. after Coke acquires its largest bottler. Coca-Cola also will distribute Canada Dry, C' Plus and Schweppes in Canada. Those drinks have been distributed by bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

GM Workers Face Daily Uncertainty, Fear Over Closures

June 7, 2010 4:34 am | by Bobbie J. Clark, AP Writer

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Charlotte and Walt Kowalcyk were going to retire from the local General Motors plant in 2013. He would've had nearly 45 years of service under his belt, while she would have logged 21 years. It would have given them financial security for the rest of their days. Now the Kowalcyks go to work every day under a cloud of uncertainty.

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China's Wages No Longer Viable For Cheap Labor

June 7, 2010 4:31 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Recent wage hikes in China could force Taiwanese electronics firms operating there to relocate to other Asian countries, a Taiwanese industry leader has said. Chairman Arthur Chiao of the Taiwan Electronics and Electrical Appliances Association said his group is assisting China-based Taiwanese companies to seek out new manufacturing sites in India, Indonesia and Vietnam in the wake of steadily rising labor costs on the mainland.

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Ammunition Plant Ignored 'Numerous' Safety Concerns

June 7, 2010 4:29 am

COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) — Court documents regarding a deadly explosion at a New Hampshire gun and ammunition plant indicate evidence of possible violations concerning the storage, manufacturing and handling of explosive materials. The Caledonian-Record reports the state fire marshal's office received two search warrants regarding the MDM Muzzleloader plant in Colebrook.

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Oil Industry: Thousands Of Jobs At Stake

June 4, 2010 5:00 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With a six-month moratorium ordered for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, oilfield companies and analysts are warning of job losses and production delays. In addition, drilling companies could send idled rigs to foreign markets, and new regulation could make producing some fields unprofitable, they said.

Chrysler CEO: Our Products Were 'Inexcusable'

June 4, 2010 4:39 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — The auto industry can't afford to become complacent and must guard against slipping into old habits as it rebounds, the head of Chrysler Group LLC said Thursday. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he worries that he's seeing a reluctance to make the fundamental, structural, traumatic change the industry must make to remain competitive.

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