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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

A Push For Harmony Among Workers, Young And Old

August 14, 2013 2:09 pm | by Matt Sedensky, Associated Press | News | Comments

There's a sense of urgency to the quest for workplace harmony, as baby boomers delay retirement and work side-by-side with people young enough to be their children — or grandchildren. Put people of widely different ages together and there are bound to be differences. Baby boomers, for example, may be workaholics, while younger workers may demand more of a work-life balance.

Hyundai, Kia Labor Unions Vote To Strike

August 14, 2013 10:16 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Labor unions at Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said workers voted to strike after talks with management for increased pay and benefits collapsed. Hyundai union spokesman Kwon Oh-il said Wednesday that management refused all demands by the union during three months of annual talks.

Samsung Faces Brazil Lawsuit Over Labor Conditions

August 14, 2013 10:11 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A labor group said Samsung Electronics Co. is facing a lawsuit from Brazil's government seeking damages over poor working conditions at the company's assembly lines. Reporter Brasil, a labor rights group, said on its website that Brazil's labor ministry found "serious" labor violations including up to 15 hours of work per day and insufficient breaks at Samsung's Manaus factory. 

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Jet Engine Maker Pratt Announces 400 Job Cuts

August 13, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

 Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney has announced it is laying off 400 workers, including 200 in Connecticut. The company said more cuts would be necessary as it grapples with the winding down of military operations in Afghanistan and what it called uncertainty in the commercial jet engine spare parts business.

Sturm, Ruger To Open New NC Gun Factory

August 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Emery P. Dalesio, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sturm, Ruger & Co. said Tuesday that it aims to keep up with demand for its guns by opening a new factory in the small North Carolina community already home to America's largest firearms maker. Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger says it will open a new factory in Mayodan to meet firearm demand that has spiked since Congress and some states sought to toughen gun controls. 

BMW: Dismiss EEOC Discrimination Complaint

August 13, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BMW is asking a federal judge to dismiss an employment discrimination complaint filed against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. BMW Manufacturing Co. said in its response to a commission lawsuit filed in June that the automaker did not engage in illegal employment practices on the basis of race at its Greer plant.

First U.S. Apprentices Graduate From VW Program

August 13, 2013 2:13 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Three years ago, Saul Flores was studying business and uncertain about his career prospects. That's when he heard about the new Volkswagen apprenticeship program being created at the German automaker's Tennessee plant. Flores was among the first class of a dozen apprentices who graduated Tuesday from the program that mixes technical skills with paid experience working in the assembly plant in Chattanooga.

Trial Set In Lawsuit Against NE Manufacturer

August 13, 2013 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An October trial has been scheduled in the employee lawsuit against Dempster Industries in Beatrice. A dozen former employees sued Dempster and its president and CEO, Wallace Davis, for lost wages and other earnings that total more than $160,000.

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Micron Cuts Jobs After Purchase Of Japanese Firm

August 13, 2013 9:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Executives with Micron Technology Inc. are taking steps to cut about 5 percent of the company's workforce in offices, fabrication facilities and research labs in Idaho and across the world. The cuts were announced starting Aug. 7 and come in the wake of Micron's acquisition of Japanese competitor, Elpida.

Can Reliability Excellence Help Explain The Jobless Recovery?

August 13, 2013 8:02 am | by Mark Ruby, MBA, Life Cycle Engineering | Articles | Comments

Despite 15 months of quarter-to-quarter growth in U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and well above other economic recoveries of the same maturity. While the official U3 employment measure has begun to show slight improvements, the broader U6 and U7 measures show much less improvement and remain essentially flat.

Engineers Killed Detroit

August 13, 2013 8:01 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Since Detroit pleaded bankruptcy, we have been hearing all kinds of things about what killed Detroit. For one thing, high labor rates in Detroit have been touted. Volkswagon is opening a plant in Tennessee. But there are other theories. One is that engineers killed Detroit.

Taking The What To The How

August 12, 2013 4:44 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

Throughout my manufacturing career, I’ve spent many hours in customer waiting rooms, where I would always read the company mission statement if it were mounted on the wall. I must admit that I have never been comfortable with the idea of mission/vision statements because I always thought them to be statements on what the company would like to do — not what they are really capable of doing.

Taking Success Full-Time

August 12, 2013 2:59 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

As the rise in temporary workers continues to affect our industry, it’s important that plant managers have a strategy for managing this new crop of personnel. Many plant-wide initiatives, like a strong safety culture, for example, are grassroots efforts that come from the ground up. They succeed through repetition and camaraderie; through consistent training and knowledge of and respect for the equipment in use.

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Honda Supplier Plans New Plant In Pell City

August 12, 2013 1:56 pm | by Honda, supplier, reusable, containers, Alabama, Pell, City, AL, build, plant, Trinity Design Group | News | Comments

A company that provides reusable containers for parts at Honda's factory in Alabama says it has plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Pell City. AL.com reported Friday that Trinity Design Group LLC's nearly $1 million facility will initially employ 35 people with plans to increase to more than 70. The company focuses on sustainable packaging and the new facility will cover 32,000 square feet.

Car Company's Big Plans Haven't Come To Fruition

August 12, 2013 10:21 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Mitch Weiss, Associated Press | News | Comments

It seemed like a win for everyone when a startup car company, backed by political heavyweights, wooed investors with plans to build a massive auto plant in Mississippi. GreenTech Automotive announced in 2009 production would start in three years and foreign investors who plunked down at least $500,000 for the venture would get the opportunity to live in the U.S. while an impoverished area of Mississippi would get jobs and tax revenues.

Pace Of Layoffs At Paducah Plant Increasing

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

About 100 employees at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant have been sent layoff notices as the facility moves toward a shutdown. The United States Enrichment Corp., issued the notices Friday. The latest round of notices are separate from the roughly 160 employees whose jobs will be cut Aug. 16. Workers notified on Friday were told their jobs would end between Oct. 14 and Oct. 25.

U.S. Jobless Claims At 6-Year Low

August 9, 2013 2:14 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Americans who have a job may take comfort in knowing that companies are laying off fewer people than at any time since before the Great Recession. The government said Thursday that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits have averaged 335,500 over the past month. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began.

Remington Breaks Ground On AR Plant Expansion

August 9, 2013 9:58 am | by Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press | News | Comments

Remington Arms Company broke ground Thursday on an expansion to its ammunition plant in Arkansas, adding between 50 and 100 jobs in a project that the company says will help meet a growing demand by gun owners around the country. Officials with the North Carolina-based firm said they expected to complete work by June 2014 on the 35,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing plant in Lonoke.

Great Falls Refinery Hit With OSHA Fine

August 9, 2013 9:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor is fining a petroleum refinery in Great Falls for unsafe working conditions. The agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it is proposing a $77,000 fine for Calumet Montana Refining.

Nissan Breaks Ground On MS Supplier Park

August 8, 2013 8:01 am | by Nissan Canton | Videos | Comments

Nissan expanded its United States manufacturing footprint last week with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant joining Nissan employees to break ground on a new supplier park at the company's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant.           

Chrysler To Spend $52M At MI Plants, Create 300 Jobs

August 7, 2013 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler is investing $52 million at two Michigan plants to build more four-cylinder engines in anticipation of increased demand. The money is going into factories in Trenton and Dundee, Mich., south of Detroit. Almost 300 new jobs will be created at the Trenton North factory.

Honda To Invest In Engine Plant, Training Centers

August 7, 2013 1:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda says it will spend $215 million to expand an engine plant and build two training centers in Ohio. The investment will add about 60 jobs in the state, although 50 of them will come from other Honda operations in North America.    

Why Google Is Assembling Phones In The U.S.

August 7, 2013 12:47 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside talk about why they decided to assemble the Moto X smartphone in Texas. The Moto X will be assembled at a plant in Texas, which employs about 2,000 workers.        

GE Scraps Nation's Largest Solar Panel Plant

August 7, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. is permanently scrapping plans to build the largest solar factory in the U.S. near Denver. GE blamed the cancellation on a glut of solar panels on the market and falling prices, The Denver Post reported Tuesday. GE put the project on hold last month.

GM To Invest $167M More At TN Factory

August 6, 2013 2:14 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors plans to spend another $167 million at its Tennessee factory so it can build two new midsize vehicles. The investment disclosed Tuesday is on top of a previously announced $183 million investment. The spending is expected to create or keep 1,800 jobs, but GM wouldn't say how many new people would be hired.

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