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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Homebuilders Can't Find Enough Qualified Workers

May 10, 2013 1:59 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Real Estate Writer | News | Comments

U.S. builders and the subcontractors they depend on are struggling to hire fast enough to meet rising demand for new homes. Builders would be starting work on more homes — and contributing more to the economy — if they could fill more job openings. In the meantime, workers in the right locations with the right skills are commanding higher pay.

Deal: Dubai Company Plans To Build GA Plant

May 10, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Nathan Deal says a company based in Dubai plans to build a manufacturing plant in Murray County with the goal of creating 200 jobs over the next three years. Deal said Wednesday the expansion planned by Mattex "speaks to the continued revitalization of the floor covering industry in northwest Georgia."

North Dakota Tops Nation In Rate Of Worker Deaths

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

North Dakota has the highest rate of worker deaths in the nation, due in large part to the oil boom in the western part of the state in recent years, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO. There were 44 worker deaths in North Dakota in 2011, for a rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

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Van Maker Backed By Energy Dept. Shuts Down

May 9, 2013 2:13 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Michigan company that received a $50 million federal loan to make vans for the disabled has stopped production and laid off its 100 workers. Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, suspended operations in February after its finances dipped below a minimum level required as a condition of the federal loan.

Japanese Auto Parts Maker To Add 200 NC Jobs

May 9, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Japanese auto parts manufacturer plans to add more assembly lines and hire another 200 workers at an existing North Carolina factory by the end of 2016. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Wednesday that ASMO North America's Greenville plant already employs more than 530 people who produce parts for front wipers and for radiator fan motors.

Honeywell Closing York Plant, Idling Over 100

May 9, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honeywell plans to close a plant in eastern Pennsylvania by the first quarter of next year, idling more than 100 workers. The Honeywell Process Solutions plant in York makes products used in the natural gas industry. The company specializes in energy efficiency products.

Why Is U.S. Manufacturing Left Out Of The Recovery?

May 9, 2013 12:49 pm | by Bloomberg TV | Videos | Comments

Scott Paul, executive director at Alliance For American Manufacturing and Bloomberg political analyst Matt Dowd discuss the current state of manufacturing in the United States. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Appeals Court Strikes Down Union Poster Rule

May 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

In another blow to the nation's dwindling labor unions, an appeals court struck down a federal rule that would have required millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the NLRB violated employers' free speech rights in in trying to force them to display the posters or face charges of committing an unfair labor practice.

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GM To Open Cadillac Plant In China

May 8, 2013 10:08 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors Co. confirms that it's building a new Cadillac factory in China. GM will start building the $1.3 billion plant next month in Shanghai's Jinqiao zone. It will produce 150,000 vehicles per year. The auto maker recently received regulatory approval for the new plant.

Subaru Invests $400M In Indiana Plant

May 8, 2013 10:05 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Subaru said Wednesday it is investing $400 million to expand its Indiana factory and will add 900 workers to build the Impreza small car there in 2016. The plant now employs about 3,600 people and builds the Legacy and Outback cars and the Tribeca SUV. It also builds the Camry midsize car under contract with Toyota Motor Corp., the top shareholder in Subaru with a 16.5 percent stake.

Siemens Launches Job Training Program For U.S. Vets

May 8, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A job training initiative is being offered in the Detroit area to help military veterans with engineering and manufacturing backgrounds transition to the civilian workforce. Siemens Corp. says the program was launched by Siemens' product lifecycle management software business in 22 cities across the country.

U.S. Job Postings Fell In March; Hiring Slowed

May 7, 2013 2:33 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth. The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

Lawsuit: Intel Worker Subjected To 'Kick Me' Prank

May 7, 2013 2:31 pm | by Russell Contreras, Associated Press | News | Comments

Intel workers secretly taped a "Kick Me" sign to the back of a co-worker as a prank, then kicked the confused man a number of times as employees at the Rio Rancho Intel plant laughed hysterically at the episode, according to a federal lawsuit.

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HK Dockworkers Accept Offer, End 40-Day Strike

May 6, 2013 2:19 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Hong Kong dockworkers have accepted a 9.8 percent pay increase, ending a 40-day strike that slowed traffic at one of the world's busiest ports. About 90 percent of the workers voted late Monday in favor of the offer from four middleman contractors that provide staff to a container terminal operator controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

GOP Seeks Alternative To Overtime Pay

May 6, 2013 2:17 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

It seems like a simple proposition: give employees who work more than 40 hours a week the option of taking paid time off instead of overtime pay. The choice already exists in the public sector. Federal and state workers can save earned time off and use it weeks or even months later to attend a parent-teacher conference, care for an elderly parent or deal with home repairs.

Adidas: Asia Laborers Can Send Complaints Via Text

May 6, 2013 2:16 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

German sports gear maker Adidas said Monday it is encouraging workers in factories of some of its Asian suppliers to anonymously share possible grievances directly with the company via text message. The new hotline service will help bridge the communication gap between management and workers, enabling employees to "simply send an SMS when they feel their rights are breached," Adidas AG said.

Pressure On Bangladesh, Retailers To Fix Factories

May 6, 2013 2:14 pm | by Farid Hossain, Stephen Wright, Associated Press | News | Comments

In the aftermath of a building collapse that killed more than 530 people, Bangladesh's garment manufacturers may face a choice of reform or perish. The shoddily constructed building's collapse has put a focus on the high human price paid when Bangladeshi government ineptitude, Western consumer apathy and global retailing's drive for the lowest cost of production intersect.

Unemployment At 4-Year Low, Markets At New Highs

May 6, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

The United States economy showed last month why it remains the envy of industrialized nations: In the face of tax increases and federal spending cuts, employers added a solid 165,000 jobs in April. The U.S. economy is now boasting the lowest unemployment rates in four years.

China City Quashes Protest Against Petro Plant

May 6, 2013 10:28 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Residents say they are worried the plant would pollute the air and water, and question why the plant is being built in a region prone to earthquakes. Pengzhou is in the same fault zone as the 2008 Wenchuan quake that left 90,000 people dead or missing, and for an earthquake last month that killed at least 196 people.

LG Chem To Begin MI Production In July

May 6, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An advanced battery maker said it plans to launch commercial production of automotive lithium-ion battery cells in southwestern Michigan in July. LG Chem Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of South Korean company LG Chem, announced Sunday night that test runs have begun at the facility in Holland and that it anticipates shipping products by the end of the summer.

CAT To Close Toronto Factory

May 6, 2013 10:25 am | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Heavy equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. says it is closing a tunnel-boring machine factory in Toronto by mid-2014, throwing 330 workers out of a job. Caterpillar acquired the facility in 2008 when it bought Lovat Inc. and got into the tunnelling business, but now says the plant is no longer a "strategic growth opportunity" and will be shut down.

ALCOA Expanding TN Plant For Auto Making Needs

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ALCOA says resurgent auto manufacturing is creating demand for its aluminum products and it will expand its plant in Tennessee. The Daily Times first reported the company will create 200 new jobs with a $275 million expansion of its rolling mill in Alcoa, Tenn. Some 400 construction jobs will be created in building it.

U.S. Employers Add 165K Jobs In April

May 3, 2013 9:59 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

CT Workers Sue Company Over Wages

May 3, 2013 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Four New Haven workers have filed a federal lawsuit alleging a fiberglass manufacturer and its owner cheated them out of wages. The workers on Thursday sued H&L Plastics of New Haven and its owner, Charles Bolton. They say each worker received no compensation for between five and seventeen weeks of work, or about $20,000.

Juror: EEOC Verdict In Iowa Sends A Message

May 2, 2013 2:14 pm | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A juror says she wanted to send a message by supporting a historic $240 million verdict for 32 mentally disabled men who faced decades of abuse by a Texas company: Never again. Juror Robin Griebel outlined her rationale for awarding $7.5 million to each former employee of Henry's Turkey Service, while the men, their attorney and relatives celebrated Wednesday's verdict.

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