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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Shortline Railroads Keep Small Towns Humming

August 26, 2009 4:48 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

AVON, N.Y. (AP) — After an hour of shunting rail cars aside, a 1964-vintage locomotive operated by Tim "Brown Dog" Carney nudges six hopper-loads down an embankment into a pasta factory. It's a routine delivery: 540 tons of semolina flour milled in St. Louis from durum wheat grown in North Dakota.


Energy Companies Battle For Shuttered MI Ford Plant

August 26, 2009 4:41 am | by David Eggert, Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two alternative energy companies plan to buy a shuttered Ford Motor Co. factory in southeast Michigan and convert it into a renewable energy park. The $725 million project at the sprawling Wixom Assembly Plant could employ at least 2,800 people within five years. Production would start in late 2011.


Deere, UAW In Negotations For 9,500 Workers

August 26, 2009 4:32 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. and the United Auto Workers union have begun negotiations on a new contract covering about 9,500 employees — or roughly 17 percent of Deere's work force — at 15 of the company's facilities across the country. The world's largest maker of farm equipment and the UAW said in a joint statement they have agreed not to comment publicly on contract issues during the talks.


Chrysler Sues Daimler Over Missing Parts

August 26, 2009 4:28 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC has sued Daimler AG, saying the German automaker failed to uphold contracts for the delivery of crucial vehicle parts for its 2010 vehicles. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company says the parts are critical for the production of several key 2010 model-year vehicles.

Pilots Seek Ban On Bulk Lithium Battery Shipments

August 26, 2009 4:26 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world's largest pilots union said Tuesday it wants bulk shipments of lithium batteries and products containing the batteries immediately banned from passenger and cargo planes because they can start a fire. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it is not prepared to take emergency action on the issue.

4 State-Run WI Power Plants Violated Pollution Laws

August 25, 2009 10:05 am | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Four construction projects at state-run power plants dating to 1995 violated the Clean Air Act by increasing pollution without installing required controls, according to a state report. A 2007 lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club raised questions about whether state officials were following the act's requirements to obtain permits for construction at state plants and install equipment to cut emissions.


Employers Brace For 10 Percent Rise In Health Plan Costs

August 25, 2009 6:59 am | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Costs for employer-provided health plans are expected to rise more than 10 percent within the next 12 months, a jump workers may feel in their paychecks or through changes to their insurance coverage. An aging population, rising costs and growing patient demand for services are among the reasons for the higher costs cited in an Aon Consulting report released Tuesday.

US Firm Caught In French Labor Standoff

August 25, 2009 6:49 am | by Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) — The French government was working Tuesday to solve a standoff between a U.S. company and its French employees amid allegations that the workers had attacked a manager while protesting job cuts. Industry Minister Christian Estrosi met with executives of Illinois-based Molex Inc.


Federal Stimulus Lets Teen Experience MD Harley Plant

August 25, 2009 4:51 am

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Bill Hope loves motorcycles. The 17-year-old got to work on them all summer at Harley-Davidson in Annapolis thanks to a federal stimulus program. Hope was one of 70 young people recruited for an Anne Arundel County summer employment program supported by stimulus dollars.

MS Prius Plant On Hold Despite Budding Infrastructure

August 25, 2009 4:34 am

BLUE SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Infrastructure projects are continuing nearly on schedule around Toyota's northeast Mississippi plant, but the manufacturing facility is still on hold. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials started the traffic light on a new frontage road Monday for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.


MI Plant Source Of Six-Mile Groundwater Contamination

August 25, 2009 4:17 am

MANCELONA, Mich. (AP) — A six-mile-long plume of contaminated groundwater from a polluted northern Michigan factory site is threatening the Cedar River, one of two sources for the area's drinking water. "I would have to say this is one of the largest contaminations we've ever seen," Janice Adams, a senior geologist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, told The Detroit News for a Monday story.


Jury Finds DuPont Negligent In Herbicide Misuse

August 25, 2009 4:06 am

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal jury has found the Bureau of Land Management and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. negligent in the use of an herbicide blamed for damaging thousands of acres of crops across a broad swath of southern Idaho. The jury found the BLM negligent in its decision to use of the powerful herbicide Oust to control invasive weeds on public lands burned by wildfires in 1999 and 2000.


Worker Badly Burned At AK Steel's Ohio Plant

August 24, 2009 12:01 pm

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Fire and union officials say a worker has been badly burned at AK Steel's Middletown Works coke plant in southwest Ohio. Middletown Fire Capt. David Adams says the man was performing maintenance work Monday when he slipped into what the company says is a condensation pit where hot water collects at the plant.


WI Man Pleads Guilty In Meatpacking Plant Fire

August 24, 2009 11:52 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — One of two brothers accused of sparking a $50 million fire at a Milwaukee-area meatpacking plant with a military-grade flare has pleaded guilty to related charges. Twenty-three-year-old Joshua J. Popp pleaded guilty Monday to one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.


Toyota Recalls Over-Lubricated Windows On 690,000 Cars

August 24, 2009 4:52 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling nearly 690,000 of its China-made vehicles after finding problems with their electric window controls, China's quality watchdog says. The recall involves 407,503 Camry and Yaris passenger cars made by Toyota's joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Raytheon Guides Home $54.4M Air Force Contract

August 24, 2009 4:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unit of Raytheon Co. received a $54.4 million contract from the Air Force to provide 266 guidance and control sections for the Maverick missile, the Pentagon said late Friday. Shares of the Waltham, Mass.-based company added $1.27, or 2.7 percent, to close at $48.22.

Boeing Lands 1.16B C-17 Contract

August 24, 2009 4:32 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co. received a nearly $1.16 billion contract boost for the C-17, a large military transport aircraft, the Pentagon said late Friday. The deal will provide for program management, logistics, depot level aircraft maintenance and more for the C-17.

Conocuts Cause Midnight Blaze

August 24, 2009 4:29 am

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Mallo Cups and Smoothies won't be rolling off the Boyer Candy Co.'s production lines for a few days because of a machine fire at the plant in central Pennsylvania. Plant supervisor Gary Himes says a coconut roasting machine caught fire about 12:25 a.m. Monday. The fire was quickly brought under control and nobody was hurt as seven employees got out of the plant safely.


Malawi Child Workers With 2 Pack A Day Habit

August 24, 2009 4:25 am | by Raphael Tenthani, Associated Press Writer

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Children picking tobacco in the fields of Malawi for consumers far beyond the African country's borders are being poisoned as they absorb up to two cigarette packs' worth of nicotine each day, a children's rights organization said Monday, The "extremely high levels of nicotine poisoning" produces not only nausea, headaches, dizziness, difficulty in breathing and other symptoms but "long-lasting changes in brain structure and function," London-based Plan International said in a report.


WI Officials Battle Mercury Marine Non-Union Threats

August 24, 2009 4:16 am

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Officials in Wisconsin were working to keep Mercury Marine from moving its manufacturing operations to Oklahoma after union workers rejected a package of wage and benefit concessions the boat engine maker said was necessary. Leaders of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 1947 did not release the tally from Sunday's vote but said it was "overwhelming" to reject what Mercury Marine called its final offer.



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