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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Union Approves Contract Extension At Oshkosh Corp.

September 30, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Union workers at Oshkosh Corp. have given the company what it says it needs to make a competitive bid on a military contract worth billions of dollars. United Auto Workers Local 578 voted Sunday to extend the contract five years after it expires in 2016. The extension protects more than 2,500 jobs at the Fox Valley's largest manufacturer.

Old Dutch Plant In Montreal Set To Close

September 27, 2013 2:03 pm | by Old Dutch, potato, chips, Montreal, Canada, plant, close, jobs | News | Comments

A 49-year-old potato chip plant built by Humpty Dumpty and now owned by Old Dutch was set to close Friday — affecting 216 workers in the Montreal area. Its U.S.-based company announced in May the plant had "reached the end of its economic life" and would close after Old Dutch failed to get a $20-million to $25-million subsidy from the Quebec government to renovate the plant.

OH Plant Making New Cherokee Brings Workers Back

September 27, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler is bringing back about 500 idled workers faster than expected after temporary layoffs from a northwest Ohio plant that produces the new Jeep Cherokee. Transmission reprogramming and extra test-driving delayed shipment of the vehicles, and inventory from the Toledo facility had accumulated, so some second-shift workers were idled earlier this week.

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Anderson Tissue Plant To Add About 200 Jobs

September 27, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A tissue make in Anderson is working on an expansion that is expected to add at least 200 jobs. First Quality Enterprises is clearing land at its plant for a third tissue-making machine, the Anderson Independent-Mail reported. Anderson County economic development authorities said they could not talk about the company's plans.

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Near 6-Year Low

September 26, 2013 2:27 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the second-lowest level in six years. Steady declines in applications show that very few companies are laying off workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average declined 7,000 to 308,000, the lowest since June 2007.

IMTSTV Investigates Smartforce

September 25, 2013 4:00 pm | by imtsvideos | Videos | Comments

Careers in manufacturing offer an unparalleled opportunity to work in an innovative environment with some of the world’s most advanced technology. But beyond that, these high-tech jobs offer good pay and a solid path to growth that’s hard to beat. However, the manufacturing industry is having a hard time finding the skilled workers it needs.

IN Industrial Space In High Demand

September 25, 2013 2:30 pm | by Joseph S. Pete, The Times | News | Comments

The amount of vacant space in northwestern Indiana warehouses, factories and business parks has sunk to the lowest level in more than two decades. The region's industrial vacancy rate has fallen to 7.24 percent, one of the lowest rates that market has seen, according to a commercial real estate organization. The rate has been steadily dropping from its peak of 12.1 percent at the end of 2009.

Expansion Planned For Window Film Plant In VA

September 25, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Eastman Chemical Co. plans to invest $40 million over the next three years to expand its manufacturing operation in Henry County, creating 25 jobs. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the planned expansion on Wednesday. The facility acquired by Eastman last year manufactures window films for the automotive and architectural markets and employs about 500 people.

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Moving In Droves To Texas

September 25, 2013 12:29 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Residents of Midland, Texas enjoy the second highest personal incomes in the United States, thanks to a booming oil and gas industry. Unemployment in Midland is less than half the national average at 3.5 percent. If people in Midland don't have a job, it's because they don't want to work, say the residents.

Bangladesh Factories Shut Amid Workers' Protests

September 25, 2013 10:13 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police in Bangladesh used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas Wednesday to stop ongoing protests by garment workers demanding higher wages, while factory owners feared they may miss shipments to the United States and Europe. The fifth day of protests in two industrial districts near Dhaka, the capital, forced authorities to close more than 100 factories for the day, police and news reports said.

Shell Considering $12.5B Plant In Ascension Parish

September 25, 2013 10:10 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shell Oil Co. announced Tuesday that it has settled on Ascension Parish to possibly build a $12.5 billion natural gas to liquids plant that would create 740 direct jobs. No final decision has been made on whether to construct the facility on a site near Sorrento, about 30 miles from Baton Rouge. The company says it will decide after engineering studies and environmental permitting are done.

German Crankshaft Maker To Open MS Plant

September 24, 2013 2:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A German powertrain maker will build its first American factory in Tunica, with plans to invest $140 million and hire 300 people over five years. Feuer Powertrain Gmbh & Co. KG says it hopes to start production by early 2015 at the 156,600 square-foot plant it will build. Feuer will make forged crankshafts for cars, trucks and heavy equipment.

OH Plant Making New Cherokee Idles 500 Workers

September 24, 2013 10:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

About 500 workers have been temporarily laid off from a northwest Ohio plant that produces the new Jeep Cherokee. Transmission reprogramming and extra test-driving delayed shipment of the vehicles, and inventory from the Toledo facility has accumulated, so some second-shift workers have been idled. The layoffs are expected to last about two weeks.

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Yokohama Tire Breaks Ground For MS Facility

September 24, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Yokohama Tire Corporation officials and state leaders gathered Monday for ceremonial ground breaking for a manufacturing facility that is expected to create hundreds of jobs. Gov. Phil Bryant, company executives and others gathered for the ground breaking ceremony in West Point, where the company will manufacture commercial truck tires.

Dutchmen RV Manufacturing Plant Closing In ID

September 24, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A recreational vehicle production plant in Burley is closing next month and moving its work to Pendleton, Ore. The Times-News reports Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. announced last week the Burley RV plant will close on Nov. 15, affecting more than 160 employees.

Fairfax To Buy BlackBerry For $4.7B

September 23, 2013 2:46 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry has agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion to a group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.

EPA To 'Effectively Shut Down' Without Budget Deal

September 23, 2013 2:32 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says the agency will "effectively shut down" unless Congress approves stopgap funding by Oct. 1. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency won't be able to pay employees. She says only a core group of people will remain on duty in case the EPA has to respond to a "significant emergency." The vast majority of employees will stay home.

BlackBerry Slashes Jobs In Face Of $1B 2Q Loss

September 23, 2013 2:30 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was once so addictive it inspired the nickname "CrackBerry." President Barack Obama confessed to being among the millions of devotees who couldn't bear to stop tapping feverishly away on its tiny keyboard. Madonna once said she slept with hers under her pillow. Then came the iPhone.

Auto Suppliers To Bring At Least 350 Jobs To AL

September 23, 2013 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says two affiliated companies in the automotive supply field will build their first U.S. production facility in Tuscaloosa, creating at least 350 new jobs by 2016. Bentley announced the plans during a Monday morning news conference at the Tuscaloosa River Market in Tuscaloosa.

Unemployment Rates Rise In A Third Of U.S. States

September 23, 2013 9:58 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Employers cut jobs in 20 states last month, suggesting modest improvement in the job market this year is not enough to benefit all areas of the country. The Labor Department said Friday that 29 states added jobs, while Montana showed no net gain or loss in August. Unemployment rates rose in 18 states, fell in 17 and were unchanged in 15.

Violence Continues Over Pay Hikes In Bangladesh

September 23, 2013 9:56 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday in the third day of clashes with thousands of garment workers demanding better minimum wages amid escalating tension over the country's main export business. Police said the violence mainly took place in the Gazipur and Savar Industrial zones, just outside the capital of Dhaka. 

President Applauds Auto Mfg Resurgence

September 23, 2013 9:54 am | by Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama applauded the resurgence of auto manufacturing Friday at a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City as he urged Congress not to hamper the nation's economic recovery with threats of a partial government shutdown. "We bet on the America worker, we bet on you and now that bet is paying off," Obama said. "You have trouble making (vehicles) fast enough."

Ford To Pump $680M Into Canadian Factory

September 20, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford says it will sink 700 million Canadian dollars ($680 million) into an assembly plant near Toronto to add models and meet increased demand for vehicles around the world. The investment will preserve the Oakville, Ontario, plant's 2,800 jobs and expand its manufacturing capability, the company said Thursday.

Employee Sues MO Utility Over Hazardous Materials

September 20, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An employee of Empire District Electric Co. alleges in a lawsuit that the utility exposed its employees to asbestos and other hazardous materials at a plant in southeast Missouri. The lawsuit, filed last week in Jasper County Circuit Court by Les Rider, of Diamond, seeks class-action status for employees who worked at the utility's Riverton plant. 

SEC Moves Toward Mandate On CEO-Worker Pay Gap

September 20, 2013 10:05 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Public companies would have to show the difference in pay between their CEOs and ordinary employees under a proposal advanced by federal regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to propose a rule that would compel companies to report that information publicly. Companies would have to report the ratio between their chief executive's annual compensation and the median, or midpoint, pay of employees.

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