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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

How Has Manufacturing Fared In The Second Half?

February 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl last year likely caught a glimpse of Clint Eastwood proclaiming that it was “halftime in America.” The country had been knocked down: The housing bubble had burst and top U.S. automakers – employing thousands of American workers – had sought a government bailout.

Economy Is Thawing

January 31, 2013 11:44 am | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

The stock market is now back at pre-recession levels at a five-year high and unemployment is at a five-year low. CNBC's Jim Cramer talks about whether we're back on solid footing or looking at a short-lived bubble in this video from NBC's Today show.

Union Backers: Nissan Threatens Plant Closure

January 30, 2013 10:23 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Pro-union workers said Tuesday that Nissan Motor Co. has threatened to close its Canton assembly plant if workers vote for the United Auto Workers to represent them, though the company denies such threats. Such threats would violate federal law, which bars managers from telling employees they'll close a plant in retaliation for a pro-union vote.

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MI Gov. Asks For Ruling On Right-To-Work Law

January 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by David Eggert, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Supreme Court on Monday to rule quickly on the constitutionality of the new right-to-work law that takes effect in late March, saying questions on how it would impact 35,000 unionized state employees must be resolved before new contract talks begin this summer.

AR Gov. Announces $1.1B Steel Mill Plan

January 29, 2013 2:02 pm | by Michael Stratford, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday unveiled Arkansas' largest ever economic development project, saying investors were poised to build a $1.1 billion steel mill along the Mississippi River if legislators approve startup funding. Big River Steel LLC, to be located near Osceola, would employ 525 people with an average salary of $75,000 — twice the state average.

6 Police Injured In Fight With Steel Workers

January 29, 2013 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Six Belgian police officers have been injured in scuffles with some 2,000 steel workers protesting plans to lay off 1,300 workers at several plants in Liege. Workers seeking to get close to the regional government offices in southern Namur threw bricks at police. Authorities responded with tear gas and water cannon.

BAE To Lay Off 300 Workers

January 29, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Defense contractor BAE Systems PLC is laying off 300 employees, two-thirds of them at its plant in southern New Hampshire. The company, headquartered in London, said Monday that affected employees will be notified by March 4. About 4,600 employees work at the plant in Nashua, N.H.

Manufacturing: The Solution To The Jobs Crisis

January 28, 2013 1:02 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Dow Chemical CEO and chairman Andrew Liveris says advanced manufacturing is coming back to America and will drive our economy. Liveris argues that technology became the new word for manufacturing since technology has to be researched and made.

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French Autoworkers Disrupt Peugeot Citroen Plant

January 28, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A few hundred French striking autoworkers are disrupting production at a key Peugeot Citroen plant north of Paris, protesting layoffs linked to its pending closure. France's largest automaker, struggling to compete in Europe's stagnant car market, is cutting 8,000 jobs and closing the Aulnay-sous-Bois factory.

MI OKs Grants For $1B In Business Expansions

January 25, 2013 12:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State officials say they have approved incentives for 14 business expansions that could generate more than $1 billion in investments and about 4,600 jobs in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday the Michigan Strategic Fund approved the performance-based grants for projects across the Lower Peninsula.

Scuffles Outside PM's Office After Steel Layoffs

January 25, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Some 250 steel workers from Liege's ArcelorMittal plant have scuffled with police outside the prime minister's office, a day after the leading steel and mining company announced it would close seven facilities in eastern Belgium. The workers pitched stones at police, who retaliated by using the water cannon in freezing temperatures.

Manufacturers Cutting White-Collar Jobs Now, Too

January 24, 2013 2:21 pm | by Bernard Condon, Paul Wiseman, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too. Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn't realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.

Is Technology A Job Killer?

January 23, 2013 2:17 pm | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

To workers being pushed out of jobs by today's technology, history has a message: You're not the first. From textile machines to the horseless carriage to email, technology has upended industries and wiped out jobs for centuries. It also has created millions of jobs, though usually not for the people who lost them.

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Unions See Sharp Decline In Membership

January 23, 2013 2:14 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The nation's labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and local governments laid off workers and — in some cases — limited collective bargaining rights.

Umicore OK Plant To Lay Off A Quarter Of Workforce

January 23, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A northeastern Oklahoma plant has announced plans to lay off nearly a quarter of its workforce. Umicore Optical Materials USA said Tuesday that it will lay off 34 of its 137 workers at its plant in Quapaw. Umicore's Timothy Douglas tells the Miami News-Record that all affected employees were offered severance packages and job-seeking assistants.

Italy Steel Exec Arrested In UK Over ILVA Plant

January 23, 2013 10:26 am | by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press | News | Comments

An Italian steel executive turned himself into British authorities on Tuesday after being placed under investigation in Italy over environmental and health problems at Europe's largest steel mill — a case that has become a major headache for the government given the 20,000 jobs at risk if the plant closes.

Union: Rolls-Royce To Close UK Plant

January 22, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Britain's largest trade union, Unite, says that Rolls-Royce is planning to close one of its U.K. defense operations, resulting in the loss of some 400 jobs. The union said staff at the firm was informed of the company's plans to shut the plant at Ansty, near Coventry, an internal memo Tuesday.

Unsettled U.S. Budget Difficult For Rockwell Collins

January 22, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Military contractor Rockwell Collins could be forced to cut hundreds of jobs if Congress doesn't come to an agreement on the federal budget that prevents automatic defense spending cuts. The Cedar Rapids company's CEO Clay Jones says if no budget agreement is reached and across-the-board cuts known as sequestration occurs in March, layoffs would have to come next.

Chinese Workers Revolt Over Timed Toilet Breaks

January 22, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese factory workers angry about strictly timed bathroom breaks and fines for starting work late held their managers hostage for a day and a half before police broke up the strike. About 1,000 workers at Shanghai Shinmei Electric Company held the 10 Japanese nationals and eight Chinese managers inside the factory in Shanghai starting Friday morning until 11.50 p.m. Saturday, said a statement from the parent company.

Simon Macpherson, Senior Director Operations, Kronos EMEA

Is Labor Productivity The No. 1 Factor For Global Competiveness?

January 22, 2013 8:00 am | by Simon Macpherson, Senior Director Operations, Kronos EMEA | Blogs | Comments

It’s been my long-held belief that no matter what we automate in manufacturing, or how flexible and effective a supply chain we develop, it’s how we manage the people in the business that will make the difference between good and world class. When it comes to managing the workforce, very few industries are under more pressure than manufacturing.

Iowa Board Approves $7M In Incentives For New Jobs

January 21, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

State economic development officials offered $7 million in incentives to nine companies promising to create hundreds of jobs. In Friday's round of project approvals, the Iowa Economic Development Board offered incentives and loans to projects from existing companies that are proposing business expansions, the Des Moines Register reported.

Judge Dismisses IN Right-To-Work Law Challenge

January 18, 2013 2:13 pm | by Tom Davies, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by union members challenging Indiana's right-to-work law that was enacted last year. U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon in Hammond ruled that none of the union's arguments against the law could succeed in federal court, although a challenge could still be made in state courts.

Delaware Firm To Add Manufacturing Jobs

January 18, 2013 10:11 am | by Randall Chase, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Delaware firm best known for manufacturing NASA spacesuits is relocating a recently acquired subsidiary's manufacturing operations to Sussex County, with plans to bring 115 new jobs to Delaware. Gov. Jack Markell announced Thursday that ILC Dover will bring the manufacturing operations of Grayling Industries to a new plant near Seaford later this year.

Nokia Sheds 300 IT Jobs, Transfers 820 Workers

January 17, 2013 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Struggling Nokia Corp. is downsizing by more than 1,000 jobs, part of a wide-ranging plan to cut costs and streamline operations. The Finnish firm says it will lay off 300 workers in its IT sector and transfer "some activities and up to 820 employees to strategic partners," India-based HCL Technologies and TATA Consultancy Services, which have operations in Finland.

Caterpillar To Start Hiring Workers For GA Plant

January 16, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials at Caterpillar Inc. are seeking applicants for jobs at the company's new plant being constructed in northeast Georgia. The openings represent the latest milestone in the company's development of a one-million-square-foot facility the company is constructing in the Athens area. Workers will build tractors and excavators at the plant.

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