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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Fuel Cell Demo Rolls To 1 Million Miles

September 11, 2009 4:07 am | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer

September 11, 2009 BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — General Motors Co. is now 1 million miles into its fuel cell experiment and company officials say having everyday people drive a test fleet of pollution-free cars has convinced them they are on the right track. The automaker on Friday said it passed the 1 million-miles-driven mark in its fuel cell Chevrolet Equinox vehicles, with about 5,000 people rotating in and out of more than 100 cars over the past 25 months.

Deere To Cut 367 At IL Plant

September 11, 2009 4:00 am

September 11, 2009 MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. said Thursday it plans to lay off 367 production workers at its John Deere Harvester works in East Moline, Ill., due to weak demand for the factory's products. The world's largest maker of farm equipment said the indefinite layoffs, effective Sept.

Official Arrested At Factory Of Dec. Sit-In

September 10, 2009 8:59 am

September 10, 2009 CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say a former official at a Chicago factory where workers staged a high-profile sit-in has been arrested and others who ran Republic Windows and Doors are also under investigation. The six-day occupation of the shuttered plant last December drew national attention to the plight of laid-off workers.

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Goodyear-Steelworkers Contract To Protect 6 Plants

September 9, 2009 5:46 am

September 9, 2009 AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The United Steelworkers says the union's tentative contract with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. protects six U.S. tire plants from closing for the next four years. Union members on Tuesday received a summary of the deal reached with the Akron, Ohio-based tire maker on Aug.

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German Labor Anxiously Awaiting GM's Opel Decision

September 9, 2009 4:45 am | by George Frey, AP Business Writer

September 9, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — German workers and politicians waited anxiously Wednesday for a decision by the board of General Motors Co. on the fate of its Opel unit, with thousands of jobs at stake and national elections less than three weeks away. The automaker had little to say about the second day of the meeting in Detroit on Wednesday.

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Chinese Geely Group Considers Volvo Buyout

September 9, 2009 4:33 am

September 9, 2009 SHANGHAI (AP) — Geely Group, one of China's main independent automakers, is considering bidding for Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo Cars unit in alliance with an unnamed investment partner, a company spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Geely, based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, is among several Chinese automakers that reportedly have shown interest in the Swedish automaker, though company officials had earlier denied such reports.

Global Air Travel May Not Recover Until 2011

September 9, 2009 4:27 am | by Jeremiah Marquez, AP Business Writer

September 9, 2009 HONG KONG (AP) — International air travel, whacked by the economic downturn, is starting to stabilize but may not recover until 2011 as companies and passengers continue to scale back, executives at aviation giants Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS said Wednesday. Passenger travel, somewhat better so far in the second half of 2009 than in the first, was still expected to slump between 6 percent and 8 percent for the year, said Randy Tinseth, a Boeing vice president for marketing.

Mitsubishi To Hire 1,300 In Thailand

September 9, 2009 4:21 am

September 9, 2009 TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is hiring 1,300 workers in Thailand, the latest sign of a global auto recovery, coming a day after Toyota announced it was adding 800 employees in Japan. Mitsubishi, Japan's fifth biggest automaker, said Wednesday it's hiring the workers for its two auto assembly plants and one engine plant in Thailand.

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Inquiry Of Egg Hatchery Finds Welfare Violations

September 9, 2009 4:09 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a northwest Iowa egg hatchery where a video shows unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder says an independent investigation found animal welfare policy violations at the plant. But West Des Moines-based Hy-Line North America said in a Tuesday statement that it won't release further details.

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Kraft To Focus On European Brands

September 9, 2009 4:05 am

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc. said Wednesday it plans to focus on higher-margin, priority brands to boost productivity in Europe and will continue to cut costs as the food maker hopes to continue expanding worldwide. Kraft, which recently made a $16.7 billion offer for Cadbury PLC, said it will focus on brands such as Milka and Cote d'Or chocolates; Oreos and Mikado biscuits; Carte Noire and Kenco coffee; and Philadelphia cream cheese.

German Labor Anxiously Awaiting Opel Decision

September 8, 2009 8:05 am | by George Frey, AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT (AP) — General Motors Co.'s board begins a two-day meeting in Detroit on Tuesday with European labor organizations pressing for a decision on the fate of its European unit Opel, where thousands of German jobs are on the line. A person familiar with the meeting said GM's board won't make any decision about the automaker, whose brands also include Britain's Vauxhall, until Wednesday.

200 Ordered To Stay Indoors After WV Toxic Leak

September 8, 2009 7:39 am

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A factory employee is being treated for exposure to a toxic chemical and about 200 people were ordered to stay indoors after a leak from a railroad car in West Virginia. Fire officials say three businesses also were evacuated Tuesday morning in the Ohio River city of Huntington.

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Obama Thanks Unions For Workers Rights

September 8, 2009 4:56 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Monday that modern benefits like paid leave, minimum wage and Social Security "all bear the union label," as he appealed to organized labor to help him win the health care fight in Congress. "It was labor that helped build the largest middle class in history.

Toyota Hires 800 Contract Workers For Prius

September 8, 2009 4:46 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota is hiring 800 contract workers in Japan in its first such job increase in more than a year amid signs of a global recovery led by brisk sales of its Prius hybrid. Most will start working next month at Toyota Motor Corp.'s Tsutsumi plant, central Japan, which makes the Prius and other models for the Japanese market, the world's No.

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China Has High Hopes For New Airbus, Boeing Competitor

September 8, 2009 4:39 am | by Jeremiah Marquez, AP Business Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — China showcased its newest and biggest commercial plane Tuesday — a jetliner with as many as 200 seats that could boost the country's fledgling aviation industry to compete with Western rivals like Boeing Co. and Airbus. The narrow-body, single-aisle C919 plane is scheduled to take its maiden voyage in 2014 before being delivered to buyers in 2016, according to Wang Wenbin, an official with the plane's manufacturer, state-backed Commercial Aircraft Corp.

Mercury Marine To Close OK Plant After WI Union Agreement

September 8, 2009 4:29 am

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — After Wisconsin workers agreed to concessions, Mercury Marine said it will move work there from Oklahoma within two years, putting 380 employees in Stillwater out of work. The boat engine maker pitted its manufacturing plants in Stillwater and Fond du Lac, Wis.

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Cadbury Rejects $16.7b Kraft Buyout

September 8, 2009 4:21 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc. on Monday proposed a 10.2 billion pound ($16.7 billion) takeover of Cadbury PLC, but the offer was immediately rejected by the British maker of chocolate, gum and candy. Cadbury shares shot up 41 percent to 803.5 pence at midday on the London Stock Exchange, about the minimum analysts suggested Kraft would have to pay to clinch a deal.

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Japan Finds Quiet Hybrids A Danger To The Blind

September 8, 2009 4:14 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — An appeal of a hybrid or electric car is its super-quiet drive. But worries are growing blind people may be endangered by their silence. The Japanese government has set up a panel with automakers, organizations for the blind and consumers groups to come up with a solution, which could have such vehicles emitting what sounds like engine noise or musical sounds like a cell-phone ring-tone, officials said Tuesday.

DuPont Accuses Employee Of Exporting Trade Secrets To China

September 8, 2009 4:08 am

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The DuPont Co. is accusing a former employee of trying to steal trade secrets and bring them back to his native China. The lawsuit was filed in late August in the Delaware Court of Chancery. It accuses Hong Meng of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Global Green Cars To Build Electric Car Plant In KY

September 4, 2009 6:45 am

Global Green Cars, Inc. (GGCI) announced today that it will proceed with its plan to build an electric vehicle production facility in the State of Kentucky. Earlier this year, Governor Steven L. Beshear of the State of Kentucky pledged his support for this electric vehicle production facility and on May 28, 2009, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a $15.

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