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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Standards Boost Business

August 20, 2013 8:01 am | by S. Joe Bhatia, President & CEO, American National Standards Institute | Articles | Comments

From the corner offices across America to the halls of Capitol Hill, leaders in the public and private sectors are sounding the call for economic reform and job creation. As the U.S. looks to forge a path for sustainable economic growth for the nation, there is a powerful business tool that can help U.S. industry to fuel business performance and drive growth.

Trade Dispute Threatens WA Industry

August 19, 2013 2:48 pm | by Amy Martinez, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

REC Silicon, with 500 workers in this Central Washington town, annually produces enough solar-grade polysilicon to power more than 2 million homes. But a global trade battle over solar panels threatens to plunge REC and its local workforce into financial crisis.

Unemployment Rates Rise In July

August 19, 2013 2:44 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates rose in more than half of U.S. states in July and fewer states added jobs, echoing national data that show the job market may have lost some momentum. The Labor Department said Monday that unemployment rates increased in 28 states. They were unchanged in 14 and fell in eight states — the fewest to show a decline since January.

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KY Plant Closure Disrupts Workers' Lives

August 19, 2013 2:41 pm | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

Jim Rodgers assumed his job as an electrician at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant would take him all the way to retirement. After all, for six decades the government-owned uranium-enrichment plant was synonymous with job security and some of the region's best wages. 

French Government Predicts A Rosy Future

August 19, 2013 2:39 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Full employment, plenty of cheap housing, a new Industrial Revolution and Police 3.0. Those are the French government's predictions for the year 2025. Leaders in the Socialist administration, who are under criticism for the struggling economy and rising joblessness, met Monday to discuss the way forward.

Japan Steelmaker To Pay Wartime Compensation

August 19, 2013 10:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. will comply if South Korea's Supreme Court upholds a ruling ordering the Japanese firm to pay 400 million won, or around 35 million yen, to four former South Korean workers as reparation for wartime forced labor, company sources said Sunday.

Fewest Americans Since 2007 Seek Jobless Benefits

August 15, 2013 3:05 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the fewest since October 2007 — a sign of dwindling layoffs and steady if modest job growth. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average fell 4,000 to 332,000, the fewest since November 2007 and the fifth straight decline.

Court Reinstates Job Retaliation Lawsuit

August 15, 2013 3:02 pm | by Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit by a Kentucky man who claims he was passed over for a job overseeing waste disposal from a nuclear plant because he is a whistleblower. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered a federal judge to determine whether executives with EnergySolutions Inc. learned of Gary Vander Boegh's whistleblowing before bypassing him for the landfill manager's job.

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Cleveland State Trains Manufacturing Job Seekers

August 15, 2013 2:18 pm | by Scientific Management Techniques | News | Comments

Cleveland State Community College has partnered with Cormetec Corporation to help recruit, assess, and train job seekers for open positions in advanced manufacturing operator positions. CSCC recently graduated their first class from their new OneSource Workforce Readiness Manufacturing Skills Training program. 

VA Chemical Plant To Close By End Of 2014

August 15, 2013 1:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Petersburg chemical plant plans to close by the end of 2014, laying off 240 employees. Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals Inc. said Thursday that it will begin to phase out operations starting in December 2013. The Petersburg facility that has been in operation since the late 1970s manufactures active ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry.

Cisco Posts 4Q Earnings, But Says It Will Cut Jobs

August 15, 2013 12:24 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cisco's earnings and revenue grew in the latest quarter as demand for its computer networking equipment increased. But CEO John Chambers called the global economy "challenging and inconsistent" and the company said it is cutting about 4,000 jobs, or about 5 percent of its work force.

Leggett & Platt To Expand Manufacturing Facility

August 15, 2013 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Manufacturing company Leggett & Platt is planning a $5 million expansion for its facility in southwestern Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday that Leggett & Platt would be adding 28,000 square feet and an expected 12 jobs to its Flex-O-Lators facility in Carthage. The plant makes automotive seating components.

Trident Seafoods Plant To Employ 175 In GA

August 15, 2013 12:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A seafood company plans to open a $41 million plant that processes frozen fish in west Georgia. Seattle-based Trident Seafoods plans to expand and move into a Carroll County facility once operated by Chiquita. The expanded plant will cover 147,000 square feet.

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Likely Labor Regs Would Aid Vets, Disabled, Unions

August 14, 2013 2:12 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

With Thomas Perez now confirmed as head of the Labor Department, the agency is expected to unleash a flurry of new regulations that have been bottled up for months — a prospect that has business leaders worried and labor advocates cheering. Some long-awaited rules would help boost employment for veterans and the disabled, increase wages for home health care workers and set new limits for workplace exposure to dangerous silica dust.

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. 

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.

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.

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