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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Strikes Begin at Oil Refineries; Prices Rally

February 2, 2015 2:38 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

About 3,800 workers have walked off the job at nine refineries across the country after the contract between the United Steelworkers Union and oil companies expired Sunday.                       

Steel Industry Missing Out on Boom Cycle as Cuts Mount

February 2, 2015 11:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's steel industry, which many hoped would be on the upswing after the end of the Great Recession, is struggling under the weight of cheap oil, a strong dollar and low prices, leading to hundreds of layoffs in just one week and uncertainty about the future.

Manufacturing's Winner & Loser of the Week

January 30, 2015 3:21 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Choosing the “Manufacturing’s Winner and Loser of the Week” was a little bit more challenging this week as there were a few contenders for each position. Check out who ended up receiving the weekly nods — and if you agree.        

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Compensation Rises at Fastest Pace Since Recession

January 30, 2015 10:16 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

U.S. workers saw their pay and benefits rise at the fastest rate since 2008 last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.                                   

Leading Automotive Supplier to Expand in TN

January 29, 2015 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A leading global automotive supplier plans to build a new facility in McMinn County, Tennessee that's expected to create as many as 400 new jobs.                              

U.S. Steel Warns of More Layoffs to Come

January 29, 2015 1:43 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor | News | Comments

U.S. Steel warns employees that more layoffs may be coming down the road. The locations in question are the steel processing plant in Birmingham as well as a plant in Lone Star, Texas.                   

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to 15-Year Low

January 29, 2015 10:33 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday the number of applications for unemployment aid fell by 43,000 last week. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, that would mean 265,000 Americans filing initial claims last week — the lowest amount since April of 2000.

General Motors Must Decide What Happens to Oshawa Plant, Union Says

January 29, 2015 9:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The union representing auto workers at General Motors' Oshawa, Ont., plant says the company must decide now what will happen to its operations there instead of waiting until after the next contract negotiations.           

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Most States Report Job Gains in December

January 28, 2015 10:02 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Strong fourth-quarter hiring numbers nationally translated to the state level as well, as 42 states reported falling unemployment rates in December.                             

Steelworkers Union Prepared for Oil Refinery Strike as Contract Talks Stall

January 27, 2015 2:08 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

With its contract set to expire in less than a week, the United Steelworkers union said it has prepared for a possible work stoppage at refineries in light of stalled talks with oil industry negotiators.             

Supreme Court Rejects Ruling Awarding Lifetime Health Benefits

January 27, 2015 10:42 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a lower court ruling that awarded lifetime health care benefits to union retirees at a West Virginia chemical plant, ordering the court to reconsider the matter.               

Education, Bias-Breaking Keys to Women's Rise in Supply Chain

January 27, 2015 10:22 am | by Mike Hockett, Associate Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

When people think of the supply chain, they think trucking and warehouse. On the front lines, they see a need to be physically strong. They see a male-centric role. We don’t necessary think women can do things in the supply chain. We need for people to think differently.

States Consider Repealing Prevailing Wage Laws

January 26, 2015 10:22 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Amid strong Republican gains in statehouses nationwide in recent years, debates over "right-to-work" legislation have generally been the most prominent union-related issues. Right-to-work laws have an immediate impact on manufacturing through operations and costs, but the federal prevailing wage law, will also effect the manufacturing of supplies on the site of qualifying projects. 

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California Cities Among Top Unemployment Rates; Upper Midwestern Cities Among the Lowest

January 23, 2015 12:38 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The desert Southwest, the Jersey Shore and California's central valley account for the highest urban unemployment rates in the nation, according to data compiled by Forbes.                       

Percentage of Union Workers Down Slightly in 2014

January 23, 2015 12:26 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The percentage of workers belonging to unions in 2014 declined slightly from the previous year, according to new federal estimates.                                  

Report: Manufacturing Wages Significantly Higher Than Comparable Workers

January 23, 2015 10:41 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The average manufacturing worker made nearly 11 percent more than a comparable worker outside the manufacturing sector in 2012 and 2013, according to a newly released report.                     

U.S. Unemployment Applications Drop

January 23, 2015 10:19 am | by Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month, a sign that layoffs remain low and hiring is probably still healthy.                       

Oil Price Drop Sparks Steel Industry Layoffs

January 23, 2015 10:07 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

U.S. Steel this week announced 545 layoffs, bringing its January job cut total to more than 1,000 as the industry reels from the decline in oil prices.                             

U.S. Steel To Lay Off More Than 350 at Indiana Tin Mill

January 22, 2015 2:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. Steel says it will lay off more than 350 workers in East Chicago, Indiana, as it plans to temporarily close its tin mill.                                   

Where Does Your City Stack Up in Job Growth?

January 22, 2015 1:58 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

A report presented to a national mayors' group projected each of the nation's 363 metropolitan areas to add jobs in 2015.                                     

Unions Seek Jobs Threshold for Boeing Incentives

January 22, 2015 9:08 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Unions representing aerospace workers in Washington state are backing legislation to place conditions on industry tax credits, drawing the ire of one of the state's flagship companies.                   

Report: Wages Up Slightly in Fourth Quarter

January 21, 2015 2:50 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

Weekly earnings in the final three months of 2014 increased 1.7 percent compared to the same timeframe in the previous year, according to numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.                  

Obama Calls for Additional Regulation, Investment in State of the Union Address

January 21, 2015 1:57 pm | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

President Barack Obama called on Congress to enact a slew of new requirements for workers while investing in education and infrastructure during his State of the Union address, declaring, "Middle-class economics works."          

Energy Companies Announce Thousands of Layoffs

January 21, 2015 10:24 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

The continued decline in the prices of crude oil is wreaking havoc in the oilfield services sector, where three industry giants have announced thousands of job cuts in recent days.                    

Survey Shows Increased Optimism Among Manufacturing Executives

January 21, 2015 10:12 am | by Andrew Szal, Digital Reporter, IMPO | News | Comments

A newly released survey showed top U.S. manufacturing executives were increasingly optimistic about the national economy heading into 2015 — and that many planned to increase their workforces this year.             

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