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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Jurors Deadlock In $1B Lawsuit Against Microsoft

December 20, 2011 4:05 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Attorneys for a Utah company that brought a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. said it will seek to retry the case with a new jury after a federal jury failed to reach a verdict. Novell Inc. sued the software giant in 2004, claiming Microsoft duped it into developing the once-popular WordPerfect writing program for Windows 95 only to pull the plug so Microsoft could gain market share with its own product.

AT&T Drops $39B T-Mobile Bid

December 20, 2011 4:03 am | by Rachel Metz, Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — AT&T Inc. is hanging up on its $39 billion bid to buy smaller wireless provider T-Mobile USA, nearly four months after the U.S. government raised concerns that it would raise prices, reduce innovation and give customers fewer choices. The long-expected announcement left AT&T grumbling about a shortage of airwaves to expand its services, while scrappy competitor T-Mobile remains up for sale by German parent Deutsche Telekom.

Tyson Recalls 40,000 Lbs Of Beef After E Coli Test

December 19, 2011 8:24 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Nebraska meatpacker recalled more than 40,000 pounds of ground beef products distributed in 16 states after a test confirmed the presence of E. coli, the Agriculture Department said Friday. The products were shipped to institutions and distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


CA Company Expected To Plead Guilty In Deaths Of Five Workers

December 19, 2011 8:18 am

DENVER (AP) — A California specialty painting company is expected to plead guilty in the 2007 deaths of five workers at a Colorado power plant, in the rare prosecution of a company. RPI Coatings Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., is expected to plead guilty Monday to five misdemeanor counts of workplace safety violations resulting in death.


Steelworkers Support 'Invest In American Jobs Act'

December 19, 2011 8:06 am

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stan Johnson, International Secretary-Treasurer of the United Steelworkers (USW), today announced the union's support of newly introduced Senate legislation to revitalize American manufacturing through federal transportation and infrastructure investments.

Suit Against Thalidomide Maker Set For Australia

December 19, 2011 7:55 am

SYDNEY (AP) — Members of an Australian class action lawsuit who blame a German pharmaceutical company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth defects won the right on Monday to have their case heard in their own country. German drugmaker Grunenthal had requested that the lawsuit be heard in Germany, because the company and many of its witnesses are based there.

Pompeo: Boeing Tanker Work Going To Washington

December 19, 2011 7:38 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo said Monday that a senior official at the Boeing Co. has informed him the modification work on the Air Force refueling tankers will be done at the company's plant in Washington state rather than in Kansas, a decision that could mean the closure of the Wichita site.


AP: EPA Rules Threaten Older Power Plants

December 19, 2011 6:46 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to shut down and an additional 36 might have to close because of new federal air pollution regulations, according to an Associated Press survey. Together, those plants — some of the oldest and dirtiest in the country — produce enough electricity for more than 22 million households, the AP survey found.


St. Paul Ford Plant Sees Final Truck Off The Line

December 19, 2011 3:51 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The last Ranger small pickup truck rolled off the line Friday morning, closing out an 86-year history of turning out Fords at the assembly plant along the Mississippi River and putting about 800 people out of work. A crowd of employees took photos and applauded as the last Ranger, a white sport model bound for the Orkin Pest Control fleet, was driven off the production line.


GM To Restart Cruze Production At OH Complex

December 19, 2011 3:42 am

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The northeast Ohio GM plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car is scheduled to resume production after what the automaker says was a supplier issue. General Motors Co. halted work on Dec. 12 at the complex in Lordstown, near Youngstown. The Detroit-based automaker said Saturday that the supplier part issue was resolved and its third-shift workers are to report to work at their normal times Sunday night.


U.S. Gov't Accuses Aircraft Contractor Of Fraud

December 19, 2011 3:39 am

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — A Coos Bay company and its owner accused of defrauding the U.S. government by supplying defective and counterfeit aircraft parts have been indicted on fraud and money laundering charges. A grand jury named Kustom Products Inc. owner Harold Bettencourt, several members of his family and the company itself in an indictment in U.

Shuttered Neb. Ethanol Plant To Resume Production

December 19, 2011 3:33 am

MEAD, Neb. (AP) — A Kansas City, Mo.-based company plans to reopen a shuttered ethanol plant in eastern Nebraska in the next few months. The former E3 Biofuels plant started in June 2007 as one of the first in the nation to use methane gas from cow manure to power ethanol production.


Saab Files For Bankruptcy In Sweden

December 19, 2011 3:24 am

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy on Monday, giving up a desperate struggle to stay in business after previous owner General Motors Co. blocked takeover attempts by Chinese investors. Saab CEO Victor Muller personally handed in the bankruptcy application to a court in southwestern Sweden, ending his two-year effort to revive the carmaker that over more than six decades has become known for its rounded sedans and quirky design features.

Siemens Hires Gen. McChrystal As Chairman Of New Division

December 19, 2011 3:14 am

BERLIN (AP) — German industrial giant Siemens AG says it has hired the former top American commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal as chairman of a new division that aims to secure more U.S. government contracts. The company said Monday that McChrystal will be board chairman of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.

Kia Supplier To Create Jobs In GA

December 16, 2011 6:40 am

LaGRANGE, Ga. (AP) — A South Korea-based parts supplier will set up a manufacturing facility in LaGrange that will create 100 new jobs over three years. Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday said Daewon America will invest $14 million to expand an existing facility in LaGrange that would supply the nearby Kia auto plant.


RI Mayor Pushes For Job Training Funds

December 16, 2011 6:38 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The mayor of Providence is urging Congress not to cut funding for a jobs training program that connects unemployed workers with employers. Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday that proposals to slash funding for the Workforce Investment Act could undermine efforts to improve the state's economy.

Consumer Prices Were Unchanged In November

December 16, 2011 6:36 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices stayed flat in November, further evidence that inflation has cooled off. Energy costs dropped for the second straight month, which offset higher prices that Americans paid for food, clothes and medical services. Milder inflation offers some relief to consumers, who were hit earlier this year with a surge in gas and food prices.


Prosecutors To Search Olympus Offices

December 16, 2011 6:35 am

TOKYO, Dec. 17 (Kyodo) — Prosecutors plan to search the offices of Olympus Corp. by the end of next week on suspicion of falsification of financial reports in connection with the coverup of the company's massive investment losses, investigative sources said Friday. The planned search by the special investigative unit of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, likely to be conducted jointly with police and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, has been prompted by mounting allegations that the company's former executives led the accounting fraud.

Antitrust Watchdog Probes Honeywell, DuPont

December 16, 2011 6:32 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog is investigating whether U.S. companies Honeywell and DuPont are colluding to restrict rivals from producing a key refrigerant for car air-conditioning systems that meets new environmental standards. The European Commission said Friday it has received complaints that the two companies entered into "development, licensing and production arrangements" that prevent rivals from also developing versions of a new refrigerant.

Settlement Reached In Gulf Chinese Drywall Cases

December 16, 2011 6:30 am | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Chinese drywall manufacturer has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to resolve court claims by thousands of Gulf Coast property owners who say the product corroded pipes and wires and otherwise wrecked their homes, the largest settlement of its kind so far.


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