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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Daimler North America To Expand In Portland

September 16, 2013 9:59 am | by Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press | News | Comments

Daimler Trucks North America announced Friday it will expand its Portland headquarters after state and city officials offered nearly $20 million in incentives. The unit of Daimler AG said its new building will house 400 new white-collar workers and hundreds of existing employees who now work in rented offices across the Willamette River. 

5 Quick Questions: Mike Weller, President, Miller Electric

September 16, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Miller Electric, a leading manufacturer of welders and welding supplies, recently announced that its president, Mike Weller, has been recognized by the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association for his service to the Wisconsin Technical College System. Given the constant pressure that manufacturers face in attracting and replacing skilled workers, we asked Weller for some perspective on the future of the skills trades. 

Obama To Meet With Union Leaders On Health Care

September 13, 2013 2:15 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is meeting with union leaders at the White House to discuss labor's growing concerns about the new health care law. Friday's meeting comes after the AFL-CIO approved a resolution this week saying the law could drive up the cost of union-sponsored health plans, encouraging some employers to drop coverage.

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Helicopter Maker Sikorsky Axes Jobs

September 13, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is cutting 200 hourly jobs, blaming reduced spending by the federal government and other countries and rising costs to compete. The subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. said Thursday it is offering eligible union-represented workers a voluntary separation.

Spirit AeroSystems Announces 150 Layoffs In KS

September 13, 2013 2:10 pm | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Saying it needs to balance its workforce, Spirit AeroSystems announced Thursday it will lay off about 150 salaried employees and managers at its Wichita plant while hiring about 400 more factory workers by the end of the year. The airplane parts maker said the layoffs are in addition to a significant number of salaried employees who have expressed interest in voluntary retirement and layoff programs.

U.S. Women Regain Lost Jobs, Men Still Short 2.1M

September 13, 2013 10:19 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

U.S. women have recovered all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. The same can't be said for men, who remain 2.1 million jobs short. The biggest factor is that men dominate construction and manufacturing — industries that have not recovered millions of jobs lost during the downturn.

Intel Closing MA Plant, 700 Jobs Lost

September 13, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Computer chip maker Intel Corp. has announced that it's closing its only manufacturing facility in Massachusetts, a move expected to cost the state about 700 jobs. Intel, the world's biggest chip maker, announced Thursday that it is closing the Hudson plant because it is using outdated technology to make older generation computer chips that are being phased out.

ME Man Awarded $489K For Workplace Injury

September 13, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A jury has awarded a Maine man $489,000 for injuries he suffered while performing welding work at a trash-to-energy plant. Attorney Peter Clifford says a York County Superior Court jury on Wednesday awarded damages to 48-year-old Joseph Bordeau, from the western Maine town of Mexico.

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Midsize Manufacturers Optimistic, Says Survey

September 12, 2013 3:43 pm | by Prime Advantage | Articles | Comments

Prime Advantage, a leading buying consortium for midsized  manufacturers, announced the findings of its twelfth semi-annual Group Outlook Survey, revealing financial projections and top concerns of its member companies for the rest of 2013. The results show continued optimism about revenues and employment despite concerns about federal regulations and fiscal policy uncertainties.

Computer Upgrades Cut U.S. Jobless Claims To 292K

September 12, 2013 2:11 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 292,000. But the drop was mostly because of technical issues in two states that delayed the processing of applications. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average fell to 321,250, the lowest in six years.

Johnson Controls To Add 11 Factories In China

September 12, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Johnson Controls Inc.'s auto parts unit plans to open 11 new manufacturing sites in China during the next few years to handle expected growth. The company's Plymouth, Mich., Automotive Experience unit, which makes seats, electronics and interiors, now has 57 sites in China. The company said in a statement Thursday that the expansion comes after 16 years of continuous growth.

Daimler Vans Manufacturing Expanding In S.C., Hiring 60

September 12, 2013 1:54 pm | by South Carolina Department of Commerce | News | Comments

Daimler Vans Manufacturing said that it will expand its existing facility in Charleston County. The more than $4.6 million investment is expected to generate at least 60 new jobs. “South Carolina has provided our company with an excellent environment for doing business and a talented workforce. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Marco Wirtz, president and CEO of Daimler Vans Manufacturing.

UAW: Majority At VW Plant Have Signed Union Cards

September 11, 2013 2:50 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Tom Krisher, Associated Press | News | Comments

A majority of workers at Volkswagen's assembly plant in Tennessee have signed cards favoring the union's representation in creating a German-style works council at the plant, a top United Auto Workers official said. A Tennessee-based regional director for the UAW, told The AP that the cards include a statement about wanting to join VW's Global Works Council and supporting cooperative and collaborative relations with the company.

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New Factory Slated For Buffalo, Bringing 170 Jobs

September 11, 2013 2:38 pm | by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Buffalo's steel-making history helped the city land a $102 million factory that will produce pipes for the oil and gas industry and create 172 jobs, according to the president of the Dubai-based manufacturer. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that economic incentives for the project, which had been considered for Houston, include $2 million in funding from the sale of unallocated hydropower and up to $6.4 million in tax credits.

Oshkosh Corp. Union Votes To Reopen Contract Talks

September 11, 2013 2:34 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Union workers at the Oshkosh Corp. voted Tuesday to reopen contract extension talks with the company to help win a military contract. United Auto Workers Local 578 President Joe Preisler confirmed the vote in a text to Oshkosh Northwestern Media. The union did not release vote totals.

U.S. Employers Posted Fewer Jobs, But Hired More

September 11, 2013 10:12 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers advertised fewer jobs in July but hired more workers, a mixed sign that suggests only modest improvement in the job market. Job openings fell 180,000 in July to 3.7 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's down from 3.9 million the previous month, which was revised lower.

Corker Calls VW Talks With UAW 'Incomprehensible'

September 11, 2013 10:08 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen would become a "laughingstock" if it goes through with a deal to have the United Auto Workers represent workers at its Tennessee plant, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday. The Tennessee Republican told The Associated Press in a phone interview that he was dismayed when VW last week sent a letter to employees regarding its discussion with the UAW about creating a German-style works council at the Chattanooga plant.

Sturm, Ruger Offered $15M For NC Gun Factory

September 10, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. could receive nearly $15 million for opening a new factory in the North Carolina community already home to America's largest firearms maker. Mayodan's town council on Monday approved offering Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger more than $850,000 over 14 years if it meets investment and job targets, The News & Record of Greensboro reported.

AFL-CIO Hopes To Expand Membership

September 10, 2013 2:13 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The AFL-CIO plans to open its membership to more non-union groups in an effort to restore the influence of organized labor as traditional union rolls continue to decline. A resolution approved Monday at the federation's quadrennial convention in Los Angeles would expand membership for workers who aren't covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Union Vote On Oshkosh Corp. Contract Extension

September 10, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Oshkosh Corp. is once asking union members to reopen contract extension talks with the company to help win a military contract. Oshkosh has asked for a five-year extension on the present labor contract with United Auto Workers Local 578 that expires in 2016.

GA Governor Touts Energy Efforts, Links To Jobs

September 10, 2013 10:15 am | by Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Nathan Deal touted the state's efforts to lure manufacturing firms with its energy policy on Monday, saying a recent energy sales tax exemption has brought jobs to Georgia and that a stable supply in the state could bring more. Last year, state lawmakers approved a plan that eliminated the energy sales tax on manufacturing plants.

First U.S. Smartphone Assembly Plant Opens

September 10, 2013 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Rick Perry and top executives are attending the opening of a Fort Worth plant where cellphone pioneer Motorola will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. Motorola is owned by Google, whose Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, will be on-hand Tuesday, as will Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

1,400 To Lose Jobs In Plants' Closure

September 10, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Financially troubled Furniture Brands International is laying off 1,451 workers in northeast Mississippi after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The St. Louis, Mo., furniture company designs, manufactures and markets furniture under a variety of notable brand names, including Broyhill and Thomasville.

Jaguar To Create 1,700 New Jobs In UK

September 10, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a substantial new investment in Britain and the creation of 1,700 jobs. The Indian-owned company plans to invest 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) to produce an advanced new car manufactured out of aluminum.

"Made In America": The Competitiveness Imperative

September 10, 2013 8:01 am | by Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Politicians love promoting "made in America" during an election season but tend to forget about it once the dust settles. And so, for all the praise of American manufacturing in the last campaign – by Democrats and Republicans alike – very little has actually been done. So what happened to a real competitiveness – and – jobs agenda?

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