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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Man Confirms Guilty Plea In July 5 WI Meatpacking Fire

September 1, 2009 6:11 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — One of two brothers accused of starting a $50 million fire at a Cudahy meatpacking plant pleaded guilty Tuesday. Prosecutors say 25-year-old Kurtis Popp fired a military flare July 5 given to him by his brother. The flare landed on a roof at the Patrick Cudahy Inc. meatpacking plant and ignited the fire.

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Manufacturing Indexes Showing Growth After 18 Months

September 1, 2009 4:39 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. manufacturing, aided by government rebates to first-time homebuyers and car buyers, likely experienced some growth in August after shrinking for 18 months. Economists expect a national measure of manufacturing activity to show the sector grew last month. That hasn't happened since January 2008, as a recession triggered by the U.

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Boeing Jetliner Head Steps Down Amid 787 Faults

September 1, 2009 4:22 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer

Boeing Co. said Monday that Scott Carson will step down as head of its commercial airplane division, ending a tenure marked by costly problems with the company's much-delayed 787 jetliner. The Chicago-based company said Carson will be succeeded Tuesday by the head of its defense business, Jim Albaugh.

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Deere To Invest $125m In Russian Plant

September 1, 2009 4:16 am | by Daniel Lovering, AP Manufacturing Writer

Deere & Co., the world's largest agricultural-equipment maker, said Monday its board of directors has approved a plan to invest $125 million to establish a new manufacturing and parts center in Russia. The Moline, Ill.-based company said the facility near Moscow will be capable of making a broad range of John Deere products, including tractors and harvesting equipment, as well as construction and forestry products.

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Stillwater, OK Anticipates Mercury Marine's Exit From WI

August 31, 2009 12:27 pm | by Murray Evans, Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Officials in Stillwater said Monday they're happy to hear boat engine maker Mercury Marine could be moving hundreds of jobs to their city, even if they sympathize with a Wisconsin city that may be losing those jobs. Mercury Marine said Sunday it intends to move the jobs to Stillwater after a union rejected a contract proposal that would have kept the jobs at the company's Fond du Lac, Wis.

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Trial For Iowa Slaughterhouse Raid Could Be Moved

August 31, 2009 12:10 pm | by Nigel Duara, Associated Press Writer

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge on Monday delayed the trial of four former top managers at an Iowa slaughterhouse where 389 people were arrested last year in what was the largest immigration raid in U.S. history at the time. U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade agreed to an Oct.

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NH Suing Company To Protect Neglected Plant Workers

August 31, 2009 12:05 pm

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire judge is temporarily blocking Precision Technology from transferring assets that could be used to provide workers compensation they are owed. Gov. John Lynch said Monday that the state sought the order to protect the 131 workers the Pembroke company locked out last week without the federally required 60-day notice.

Jaguar-Owner Tata Motors Loses $70m In 2Q

August 31, 2009 11:11 am

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Tata Motors lost 3.3 billion rupees ($67.2 million) in the April-June quarter, driven by a 52 percent drop in sales volumes at its Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary and the cost of servicing its debt, the company said Monday. During the same period last year, Tata posted a profit of 7.

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Mercury Marine No Longer Speaking To Union

August 31, 2009 6:51 am

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Leaders of the union representing workers at Mercury Marine say they have no new ideas for reviving talks to keep 850 manufacturing jobs in Fond du Lac from moving to Oklahoma. Dan Longsine of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 1947, said Monday the company is no longer interested in talking.

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Memphis Could Be Home To $8b 'Bioeconomy'

August 31, 2009 4:38 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A study by a Memphis nonprofit group proposes major changes in the way agricultural land in the Delta is used to create a bioeconomy worth $8 billion with more than 25,000 jobs in the next decade. The study commissioned by Memphis Bioworks Foundation was released last week.

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North Dakota Woos Wind Turbine Manufacturers

August 31, 2009 4:33 am | by Dale Wetzel, Associated Press Writer

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's potential for generating wind power should help lure businesses that make equipment for the industry, economic development officials believe, but analysts say the state will face stiff competition. The state Commerce Department has hired a British firm to help drum up business prospects in Europe, where a number of large wind energy companies are based.

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10,000 Steelworkers To Vote On New Goodyear Contract

August 31, 2009 4:27 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran,Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — Thousands of workers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plants in seven states will vote in the coming days on a tentative national contract agreement. The United Steelworkers of America and the company reached the deal Saturday night about three hours before a midnight deadline for the expiration of the old three-year contract, which had been extended twice.

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Third Case of Mass Lead Poisoning In China, 200 Ill

August 31, 2009 4:22 am | by Gillian Wong, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Two hundred children are suffering from lead poisoning in southwest China, the country's third such case of mass sickening in the past month, an official newspaper said Monday. Parents in Tongdu, a township in Yunnan province's capital of Kunming, blamed the poisoning on a nearby industrial park while local environmental officials attributed it to vehicle exhaust, the China Daily reported.

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40-Day Strike Of 700 At IN Plant Ends

August 31, 2009 4:16 am

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Union members have approved a new contract that ends a strike by more than 700 workers at a Bemis Co. plant in Terre Haute after 40 days. Workers United Local 1426 went on strike July 21 in a dispute with Neenah, Wis.-based Bemis over the company's use of temporary workers and proposed changes to health insurance benefits.

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Contractor Killed At KY Paper Mill

August 31, 2009 4:11 am

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — International Paper Co. says a contractor at its Henderson mill has been killed. The Courier & Press of Evansville, Ind., says the victim's identity and details of Friday morning's incident weren't immediately available. International Paper spokeswoman Jessica Morris says the company is investigating, but feels it was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to other workers.

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2 Execs Indicted In 2007 Tunnel Deaths

August 28, 2009 12:19 pm | by P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) — Two companies and two executives have been indicted on federal charges in the deaths of five workers in a 2007 fire inside a tunnel at a Colorado hydroelectric plant. Xcel Energy, RPI Coating Inc. and two RPI executives face criminal charges in the deaths in a federal indictment that alleges they knew about the danger and did nothing about it.

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Union-Goodyear Talks 'Intense'

August 28, 2009 7:06 am

CLEVELAND (AP) — The union says national contract talks with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have reached an intense stage. The Steelworkers union says the talks are focused on job security, keeping plants open and health-care costs. The Akron-based tire maker says it remains confident an agreement can be reached in the talks that have been ongoing in Cincinnati since June.

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Whirlpool To Cut 1,100 Jobs, Close IN Factory

August 28, 2009 7:02 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Whirlpool Corp. said Friday it will cut 1,100 jobs and close a refrigerator factory in Evansville, Ind., to cut excess production capacity. The jobs will be eliminated in mid-2010. The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based appliance maker has aggressively cut costs as demand for big-ticket items has shrunk in the recession.

WMEP Helps Create 800 WI Jobs, $160m Impact

August 28, 2009 4:59 am

MADISON, Wis. — Despite the recession, many Wisconsin manufacturers are benefiting from efforts to modernize and improve their operations. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) said today that projects it completed with state manufacturers generated an economic impact of $164 million – most of it from increased and retained sales.

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Toyota Closing CA Plant After GM Cancels Joint Venture

August 28, 2009 4:46 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is shutting the California factory it ran with General Motors for 25 years — the first time the Japanese automaker is closing a major auto assembly plant ever. The decision from Toyota Motor Corp., announced Friday, drew fire from U.S. unions, even as company officials and analysts defended it as unavoidable for money-losing Toyota, following General Motors Corp.

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