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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Turbine Maker Recalls 79 Workers At Pa. Plant

February 19, 2010 3:59 am

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa has brought back 79 workers laid off from a western Pennsylvania plant in November. The company says it will also hire 50 more workers at its plant in Ebensburg, about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. Company officials said in November that 141 people were laid off, including the 79 who have been recalled.


Is Wichita The Next Detroit?

February 19, 2010 3:50 am | by Molly McMillin, Associated Press Writer

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita's business jetmakers sometimes think about Detroit. Not that many years ago, U.S. automakers weren't too concerned about emerging foreign competitors. Productivity was poor, costs were out of control, and they became complacent, said Cessna Aircraft CEO Jack Pelton.


Ind. Truck Part-Maker Shuttered, 225 Jobs Cut

February 19, 2010 3:35 am

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana factory that makes truck parts is being shut down, with about 225 people to lose their jobs. Accuride Corp. spokeswoman Eva Schmitz says its Gunite Corp. factory in Elkhart will be closed by May 1. Its production will be moved to factories in Rockford, Ill.


Toyoda To Testify Before Congress Over Recalls

February 19, 2010 3:34 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, ,AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's president Akio Toyoda, under fire for his handling of sweeping recalls, will testify before a congressional hearing next week, appealing to U.S. lawmakers and aggrieved customers for understanding while the company fixes its safety problems. Japanese officials praised the decision by Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, to accept a formal invitation to explain the recalls and outline plans by the world's largest automaker to ensure safety and satisfy worried car buyers.

Exec Indicted In Price-Fixing, Bribery-Based Food Cartel

February 19, 2010 3:33 am | by Robin Hindery, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The former owner of a California food company was indicted Thursday in an alleged price-fixing plot that involved buyers for some of the nation's biggest food chains. A federal grand jury in Sacramento charged Frederick Scott Salyer with racketeering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.


Eaton Suspends Production After Death

February 19, 2010 3:29 am

BELMOND, Iowa (AP) — The Eaton Corp. has suspended production at its plant in Belmond after a worker died on the job. Company officials say 51-year-old Doug Barkema, of Belmond, died in an accident at the plant Wednesday afternoon. Jason Smith, director of North American Automotives for Eaton, says production will not be restarted until officials determine what happened.


Worker Dies At Eaton's Belmond, Iowa Plant

February 18, 2010 3:33 am

BELMOND, Iowa (AP) — The Eaton Corp. says a worker has died on the job at its plant in Belmond in northern Iowa. Company spokeswoman Julie Habbouche says 51-year-old Doug Barkema, of Belmond, died in the accident on Wednesday. She says Barkema was a machine operator and had worked at the plant for 24 years.


CPSC Warns Of 'Creative' Punishments For Sloppy Manufacturers

February 17, 2010 11:03 am | by Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the nation's top safety officials is delivering a stern warning to the makers of toys, cribs and other children's products, telling them to put safety first — or face potential fines, lawsuits or other actions. "If you resist our efforts to recall children's products, be forewarned: This commission stands ready to be creative in the use of our enforcement authorities," Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum said Wednesday.


Baby Bracelets and Pacifier Clips Recalled For Lead

February 17, 2010 10:13 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Utah company is recalling 900 bracelets for babies and pacifier clips because they contain high levels of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday that a 10-month-old girl received medical treatment for elevated lead levels after being exposed to one of the baby bracelets.

Mueller Appeals $683K OSHA Fine After Blast Kills 1

February 17, 2010 3:48 am

FULTON, Miss. (AP) — Mueller Industries has appealed a $683,000 fine levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged safety violations. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports John Hansen, Mueller's vice president of manufacturing, confirmed the appeal was filed but declined to discuss specifics.


Mueller Appeals OSHA Fine After Blast Kills 1

February 17, 2010 3:48 am

FULTON, Miss. (AP) — Mueller Industries has appealed a $683,000 fine levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged safety violations. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports John Hansen, Mueller's vice president of manufacturing, confirmed the appeal was filed but declined to discuss specifics.


Dems Seek Tax Breaks For Rehired Workers

February 17, 2010 3:40 am | by Colleen Slevin, Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) — Democratic lawmakers want to give a tax break to businesses that rehire workers they laid off last year, a move that analysts estimate could speed up the return of some 10,000 people to work. However, no business groups turned out to testify for the proposal during its first hearing at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Officials Investigating Orange Cloud Over Houston-Area

February 17, 2010 3:31 am

PASADENA, Texas (AP) — Plant officials are investigating what caused a chemical release at a Houston-areaplant that forced neighbors to stay indoors for a couple of hours. An orange cloud was seen above Pasadena after Tuesday night's release, prompting emergency personnel to order a shelter-in-place.


The RV Is Back, Says Earthbound

February 17, 2010 3:19 am

MARION, Ind. (AP) — A startup company plans to open a factory in central Indiana making recreational vehicles and potentially hire 300 workers in the next few years. Officials of Earthbound RV say they'll hire 60 people this year for the Marion factory and expect to start production of its towable trailers in March.

Navistar Nabs $752 Million Military Vehicle Contract

February 17, 2010 3:18 am

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Navistar Defense LLC, a unit of Navistar International LLC, said Tuesday that it received a $752 million contract to supply the U.S. military with 1,050 of its International MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. The company said that vehicles under the contract from the U.


Texas Energy Company Protests $18 Million Mercury Fine

February 17, 2010 3:17 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Texas energy company convicted of illegally storing hazardous mercury in a rundown Rhode Island building asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to throw out an $18 million penalty, calling the punishment "grossly excessive." The mercury, stored by the Southern Union gas company in a building in Pawtucket, was exposed to the public in 2004 after vandals broke in and dumped a container of the hazardous liquid at a nearby apartment complex.


Obama Calls $8.3 Billion Nuclear Grant 'Only The Beginning'

February 16, 2010 10:02 am

bu Julie Pace, Associated Press Writer LANHAM, Md. (AP) — Promising "this is only the beginning," President Barack Obama announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees Tuesday for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the United States in nearly three decades.


Ford Cuts 900 At Michigan Mustang Plant

February 16, 2010 7:48 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is cutting 900 workers at the Michigan plant that makes the Mustang. Ford said Tuesday that the Flat Rock plant will go from two shifts to one in July. The plant, which is jointly owned with Mazda, also makes the Mazda6. Nearly 2,300 people work there.


Toyota Idles Two Assembly Plants

February 16, 2010 5:11 am | by Ken Thomas,Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota says it plans to idle production at two assembly plants while it grapples with massive recalls in the United States. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss says a plant in San Antonio, Texas, has scheduled production breaks for the weeks of March 15 and April 12.


Chrysler Supplier Doubles Up, Ready To Hire 65 Workers

February 16, 2010 4:03 am

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana auto parts plant plans to hire 65 workers in the coming months as it starts a contract with Chrysler. Creative Liquid Coatings Inc. manager Stephen Geist told Kendallville officials that the company is buying robots and other equipment for the new production line.



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