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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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. 

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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.

Poet Set To Open IA Plant Early Next Year

September 20, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

South Dakota-based Poet LLC and its Dutch partner say a cellulosic ethanol plant being built in Iowa will open early next year. By next summer, Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels should have any glitches worked out at the $250 million Emmetsburg, Iowa, plant, Steve Hartig, general manager of the joint venture, said Thursday during a biotech conference in Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader reported.

Report: BlackBerry Could Cut Workforce 40 Percent

September 19, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry could cut its workforce by up to 40 percent by the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said that the Canadian company plans to make the cuts through layoffs that will occur in all of its departments, potentially affecting several thousand people.

Haslam: VW Tax Credits Not Contingent On Union Status

September 19, 2013 2:07 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tennessee has not made economic incentives for Volkswagen contingent on the German automaker rejecting the United Auto Workers union at its Chattanooga assembly plant, Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday. A top Democrat in the state House last week alleged that Haslam was trying to use economic incentives to sway Volkswagen against working with the UAW.

GE Plans To Move NY Capacitor Work To FL

September 19, 2013 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. says it plans to close an electrical components plant in upstate New York and move the work to Florida. Local media outlets report that the Fairfield, Conn., company gave union workers in Fort Edward notice on Wednesday it could close by September 2014.

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Boeing To End C-17 Airlifter Production In 2015

September 19, 2013 2:02 pm | by Robert Jablon, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. announced Wednesday that it will end production of its C-17 Globemaster III military cargo jet and close the final assembly plant in Long Beach in 2015, putting as many as 3,000 jobs at risk as orders plunged in the fragile world economy.

CEOs Less Optimistic About The U.S. Economy

September 18, 2013 1:35 pm | by Joseph Pisani, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. chief executives are less optimistic about the economy, according to a survey released Wednesday. The survey also indicates that disagreements over the 2014 budget and raising the debt ceiling in Washington are making them cautious about hiring.

Appeals Court Sides With Spirit AeroSystems

September 18, 2013 1:27 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court sided Tuesday with Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. in a labor dispute stemming from the way the Wichita-based aircraft parts maker evaluates employee performance. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the district court properly refused the union's efforts to compel arbitration over the issue.

Administration Announces $474M For Skills Training

September 18, 2013 12:47 pm | by U.S. Department of Labor | News | Comments

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

Obama Takes Economy Message To Corporate Leaders

September 18, 2013 9:58 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama, facing a budget showdown with Congress, is pushing his economic agenda to some of the nation's top corporate executives while cautioning Republicans not to precipitate a government shutdown or an unprecedented debt default.

Robots Are Not The Enemy

September 18, 2013 8:02 am | by Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation | Blogs | Comments

It has become a popular meme that “robots are destroying our jobs.” How else do we explain today’s persistent high unemployment? But this notion that technology, automation and productivity lead to fewer jobs and higher unemployment is simply wrong. First, there is no logical relationship between job growth and productivity. 

The Gray Shift Part 2: Using Ergonomy To Retain Valuable Older Workers

September 18, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated | Articles | Comments

To address coming workforce demographic changes, employers must create a corporate culture that promotes both safety and wellness. Healthy workers and a safe workspace reduce costs and increase productivity, so these efforts will be repaid fully.

The Center Of The Universe

September 17, 2013 3:40 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

A reader recently sent me an email lamenting some of the big business-big labor tensions that had been peppering IMPOmag.com’s news section. Paul’s point was about compromise, and how give and take was the necessary component to everything — whether it be tense negotiations in the workplace, or even a discussion with your family about how to spend your Saturday.

Business Leaders: It Makes Sense To Put Jobs In U.S.

September 17, 2013 2:23 pm | by Matt Gouras, Associated Press | News | Comments

Business leaders from Oracle Corp., Ford Motor Co. and The Boeing Co. said Tuesday their companies have found that it makes sense to bring jobs back to the United States — even to smaller cities in places such as Montana. Oracle President Safra Catz said her company has been centering its cloud computing division in the nearby mountain town of Bozeman.

Layoffs Loom In MN Despite Boise Acquisition

September 17, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Dozens of layoffs are still expected at the Boise Inc. plant in International Falls, despite news the company is being acquired by Packaging Corp. of America. International Falls plant spokeswoman Lori Lyman tells WDIO-TV the acquisition doesn't change the loss of 265 local Boise jobs.

Mattress Company To Relocate To MS, Hire 125

September 17, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A mattress maker will relocate its operations to a vacant facility near Tupelo, Miss., after lightning sparked a fire that destroyed its Double Springs, Ala., factory. Posturecraft Mattress Co. will open a plant in the former location of National Mattress Co. in Plantersville, with plans to hire 125 to 150 people, state Rep. Steve Holland says.

VW Plant Helping TN Build A Manufacturing Future

September 17, 2013 12:08 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Chattanooga, Tenn., beat out 400 other cities to be the home of a new VW plant five years ago, which created jobs for 2,500 people. Jessica Davis is one of the workers who belong to the manufacturing middle class America is trying to rebuild. CBS News' Mark Strassmann reports.

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